Those of you that have children know what an excursion to the local mall or supermarket can be like. If you're not careful, this simple trip can easily become a wallet draining experience.
How often have you heard:
“I want Luchables because EVERYONE eats them at lunch!”
“Come on mom, these cool pants only cost $80.”
“Dad, everyone has a Playstation II, I need one too!”
“I need 2 sodas and 2 bags of chips everyday!”
Certainly, we as parents want to make our children happy
and not deprive them of a delightful childhood, but who's to
say that you must give in to every one of your child's requests.
Why must you work twenty overtime hours just so your son
can have a new video gaming system? Why must your grocery bill be over $200 just so your children can have the latest cereal, ice-cream, snacks, candies, and sodas available?
Truth About “Brand Names”
Brand names cost money. Quite a bit of money. Especially when you add them up over time. The reasons these brands must charge more money is to cover their enormous advertising and marketing costs.
Since children are constantly bombarded with advertisements on the television and amongst their peers at school, they are most likely going to ask you for these same products.
No one really enjoys telling their children they can't have something they want, however looking at the bigger picture, what lesson are we teaching our kids if we simply give in to their every request?
For one, they are not learning the value of money and the role it plays in our lives. Secondly, they are not learning about the importance of conservation and how to properly budget their money.
Learning to budget and save money at an early age will really come in handy especially as they grow older, start driving, and get offered tempting pre-approved credit cards through the mail.
If they are not careful and able to budget their money effectively, this new found freedom may drain all the money from their pockets.
Teaching The Importance of Conservation
Not only is this the perfect opportunity to get your children “Brand Free” and away from the expensive, trendy stuff, but it's also the perfect opportunity to teach them the value of money.
Here's one way you can approach this. Explain to your children that the money you spend on clothes, food, toys, etc, depletes the amount you are able to save for future needs.
Explain that starting today, only the NECESSITIES will be
purchased. No more ice cream, chips, soda, candy, lunchables, except maybe on special occasions. Toys and games will need to be earned and will no longer be given away for free. Etc…
For example, you could state that you will only be purchasing
Cheerios (or another low priced cereal). If your children want to have Captain Crunch or Cookie Crisp, they will have to buy
them using their own money.
Same principal for their lunches. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna fish, apples, oranges, carrots, and raisons. If they want Lunchables or some other type of non-nutritious fast food, they will have to buy it with their own money.
Soon, you will have your child(ren) deciding “Is a Quarter Pounder Meal worth $4.50 out of my savings?” or “Do I really need that new video game that cost $50?”
This “brand free” approach can be applied to all other shopping areas aside from the supermarket example.
When you are shopping for clothes, ONLY buy the necessities. Ignore the most expensive and most popular items. Only buy what you, or the children, absolutely need, ignore all the rest.
Regarding toys and games, you can make it so that your children ONLY get “free” toys on christmas and their birthdays. If they want something additionally, they must purchase the item with their own money.