Once my little ones got the hang of giving and saving, I wanted to teach them about spending. I took my preschoolers to the dollar store with nothing but dimes in their wallets. I was sure there, they would find something they wanted to buy, but also be able to afford.
The idea was to practice spending within their means.
My kids only had enough money to buy one or two things. Having a limit on what they could buy changed their shopping experience. Instead of asking me for everything that piqued their interest (which usually happens), they slowly walked up and down the aisles. They looked at all the toys, books, markers, and stickers carefully as they decided on exactly what they wanted.
When boundaries were set in place, they were more thoughtful about their choices.
It took time and patience on my part. But that was okay. These visits to the store, weren’t diversions while running household errands, they were the errand.
As my kids got older, we stopped making special trips to the store however every time we shop together they learn lessons.
Before we shop we:
- Decide what we want to buy.
- Watch for sales.
- Set a dollar amount to spend.
- Compare prices at several stores and on the Internet, especially for bigger ticket items.
- Bring our money with us. There won’t be any loans if we don’t.
When we are out shopping we:
- Talk about the purchase. Is this something we really want to buy? Are we saving for something else? Will this purchase interfere with our savings plan?
- Look for the best combination of affordability and quality
- May decide to not make a purchase. It isn’t necessary to spend money every time you go to the store.
As I shop for our families needs my children watch me and learn from the choices I make.
What better motivation to be wise in my spending!