Those of you that have children know what an excursion to 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 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 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 bigger picture, what lesson are we teaching our kids if we simply give in to their every request? For one, they are not learning value of money and role it plays in our lives. Secondly, they are not learning about 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 mail. If they are not careful and able to budget their money effectively, this new found freedom may drain all money from their pockets.
Teaching The Importance of Conservation
Not only is this perfect opportunity to get your children "Brand Free" and away from expensive, trendy stuff, but it's also perfect opportunity to teach them value of money.
Here's one way you can approach this.
Explain to your children that money you spend on clothes, food, toys, etc, depletes amount you are able to save for future needs.
Explain that starting today, only 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.