DIMS – Does It Make Sense?® Scores Help Develop Good Financial Defense

To use a sports analogy, let’s describe financial offense as making money, which is what a lot of people focus on. Certainly many children dream of growing up to become a celebrity or professional athlete who earns a large salary. But strong financial defense, how you spend the money you make, is just as important. At Gifting Sense we help kids ask for birthday and holiday gifts that they will really use and appreciate. In other words – we help children, their families and friends develop good financial defense.

One of the ways we provide that help is by calculating a DIMS – Does It Make Sense?® Score for a potential gift. DIMS Scores ® can range from 1 (This gift probably doesn’t make sense…) to 10 (This gift might make a lot of sense…); they are automatically generated when children complete a Gifting Sense Gift Survey by answering ten to twelve questions about a potential purchase.

Those questions are on everything from where the item they are interested in was made, to whether or not it is a replacement for an item they have recently outgrown. A higher DIMS Score ® can be achieved, for example, by asking for an experience that will help a child acquire a skill (e.g. Music Camp); by asking for an item that comes from a local store (parents can drive there in 45 minutes or less); or by buying an item from a manufacturer with a customer-friendly warranty.

If financial offense is making money, then financial defense is how you spend the money you make. Quickly calculating the DIMS Score ® for a potential purchase helps kids practice good financial defense.

We started out suggesting that kids only ask for gifts that can generate a DIMS Score® of 8 or higher, but families have been establishing their own guidelines. Some allow for one gift a year that doesn’t generate a DIMS Score® of 8 or better. Others only allow kids to ask their grandparents for gifts that can generate a DIMS Score® of 9 or better. Of course the most important part is that children are being encouraged to more “thoughtfully prefer” holiday or birthday gifts, to think before, they ask to buy.

Does it ever make sense to buy an item with a lower DIMS Score®? Sure it does, and in fact who doesn’t occasionally buy items that make less sense? The trick is to call those purchases what they are: wants versus needs, and not to get into the habit of making too many of them. Search history to learn about sports figures and celebrities who made more money than the average family could ever hope to earn – but lost it all through poor financial defense. If someone had gifted them sense back when they were young, perhaps their financial track record would be very different today.

If any of this sounds interesting – ask your kids to “Get Started” with one of our Gift Surveys when thinking about what they might like to receive for their next holiday or birthday gift.  See for yourself how taking 2 minutes to answer 10-12 questions can lead to one of the best holidays your family has ever experienced – not to mention the beginning of developing good financial defense!

This post was updated in October 2017.

Got an idea for an article? Let us know!

Fields marked with an * are required