• 4 Pocket Allowance

A Picture is Worth a Thousand…Dollars

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

There are lots of articles written about splurge spending. You know. Buyers remorse when you get home and have no idea what possessed you to buy that shirt. Or the importance of sticking to your shopping list to avoid the myriad of temptations lurking in the aisles. And don't even get me started on the problem of grocery shopping hungry!

So as adults, we acknowledge that splurge spending is a real thing. And yet, who among us hasn't rolled our eyes at our kids who get caught up in the moment and want to buy one of everything in the store. In some ways, the excitement as they hop from item to item is almost contagious. But I know I'm guilty of taking the condescending stance of judging their inability to better weigh their decisions. I know they won't use that toy for more than two seconds (just like my husband knows that I won't ever wear that purple shirt again).

But if we can get passed the judging, there are some great strategies that kids can learn.

My favourite, started on our first trip to Disney, is to use my phone to take a picture of each "must have" item. At the end of the day, before we left each theme park, we would review the list of photos and decide which item to buy (with their own allowance money, of course). And most of the time, the interest was gone. The moment of "need" had passed.

Another fun trick that I use, particularly when shopping in a toy section (for example for another child's birthday gift) is to add it to their Christmas/Birthday list. I keep a note on my phone just for these occasions. We add it to the list, which allows everyone to go home with hope. Yet, as Christmas/Birthdays approach, and we review the list, most items are no longer of interest.

I've learned not to fault my kids for getting caught up (I personally have visited the website for a subscription box I want three times today). But we can help them with strategies to use in these moments. And for me, I guess the subscription box goes on my Christmas list.

A picture is worth a thousand...dollars, Ideas for parents about allowances and teaching kids about money and financial literacy, #4PocketAllowance

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