It’s been a while since I’ve allowed a Guest post on my blog, but I was very impressed with the content of this one and thought it would be useful advice for your kiddos.
Let me introduce John Cole, who has written a special post just for you on how to teach your children about what impulse buying is and how to make sure they never fall victim to it!
Enjoy and share if you like it. I would love to read your thoughts on this post in the comments below. I always answer each comment personally.
Cheers…Amanda…Excited Life Enthusiast! :o)
How to Teach Your Kids About Impulse Shopping
Our culture is consumed by consumption, shaped in the image of capitalism. For all the benefits and comforts that this may bring us, it also means our emotions develop in a particular atmosphere where our personal and economic well-being tends to be prioritized somewhere below the need to get us to spend. From advertising to TV shows to movies and music, our children are bombarded every day with messages encouraging them to spend, spend, spend, equating conspicuous consumption with a life well lived, and offering ‘retail therapy’ as a cure-all for emotional problems. Boyfriend dumped you? New shoes will mend that broken heart!
Thankfully, a new generation of parents are recognizing that a more mindful approach to how we let our kids see us spend money, and how we teach them to look after their own pocket money, can have beneficial effects for them as individuals and as a society. Encourage your kids to think not just of what they want and how to get it, but also why they want it and where it came from, and you will help them to become more engaged and conscientious consumers as they start to earn their own living and develop their own adult lives.
It can be healthy to start by taking a look at your own shopping habits and seeing the kind of example you are setting – and indeed, whether you’ve already witnessed your shopping patterns replicated by your little ones. Do you shop to cheer yourself up, or make jokes about retail therapy that might be taken seriously by impressionable young’uns? Have you ever got yourself in trouble by returning to work late because you got caught up shopping? Is hitting the shops the first thing you think about on pay day? Well, we all deserve a treat for working hard, but it’s easy to give the impression that nothing is more important than the things you buy and the only reason for working is to own more stuff.
There are some great techniques you can use to form good habits for yourself as a shopper, and in turn pass on to your kids. A good place to start is with the dreaded credit card. Credit cards have rarely bought anyone anything but passing pleasure – and the cumulative effect of too many hits can take years to recover from. But perhaps more to the point, you are actually likely to spend more if using a credit card because, at a neuronal level, your brain doesn’t quite compute the fact that you are spending. It’s too abstract if you don’t use cash.
Add to this the fact that your credit card most likely has a limit that’s greater than the amount of cash you are likely to carry with you, and you’ll see that credit cards encourage a never-ending horizon of spendability and make you less likely to learn to live within your means and appreciate what you have.
Of course, credit cards can be a real saviour from time to time, but it’s best to make sure they are there just for emergencies – replacing damaged school uniforms, paying unexpected bills. And if your kids see you using them, make sure they understand where the money is coming from. It’s not a magic wand – it’s a high interest debt that you’re taking on.
Like any debt, repaying a credit card requires planning and commitment. Which brings us to the matter of budgets. By all means, allow for the occasional splurge – but try to demonstrate the fact that it’s something you’ve allowed for in advance. Your own pocket money, if you like! Don’t hide your budgeting practices from the kids. Let them see that you use price comparison sites and maintain shopping lists. You will spend less if you carry a list when shopping, as well as illustrate the importance of self-discipline. (An added bonus, for the older among us, is that it also helps us remember what we went out for in the first place).
Probably your kids could teach you a thing or two about online shopping, but it’s worth figuring out some tricks for which they won’t have made time. One-click shopping online is like credit-card shopping in the store: it’s all thrill, no time for guilt. Delete your credit card details from each site, because in the time it takes to retype them when you do come to make an instinctive purchase, you are more likely to have second thoughts and do the right thing. Cancel transaction!
Childhood is a dynamic time for taking on habits and beliefs about the world of consumerism, and there are plenty of resources out there to make sure your kids get the best information. A good place to start is this new infographic from PoundPlace, that you can see below, which goes over some of the shopaholic hacks mentioned above, and a few more to boot. Ker-ching!
About The Author:
John Cole is a digital nomad and freelance writer. Specializing in leadership, digital media and personal growth, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in Norway, the UK and the Balkans.
Hope you enjoyed this article. I love hearing your thoughts, so make sure you leave your comments below. I answer each one. And let me know if you would like me to do a post on any particular subject around teaching children about money.
Cheers…Amanda…Excited Life Enthusiast! ;o)
P. S. Don’t forget to click here to grab your 7 Free Gifts for Teaching Children About Money, if you haven’t already.
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