Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Talk to Kids About Money: How to Teach Your Kid to Buy Stuff

Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money Video Series. My name is Stacey Powell, and if you’re ready to not just know better with your money but do better, you’ve come to the right place. Today I’m going to teach you about how to teach your kids about buying stuff.

If you watched the last video, we were talking about how we would probably make better spending decisions as adults if our parents had spent more time on how to better plan for teaching us how to buy stuff when we were kids. I don’t want to make that same mistake. So I didn’t always do it right, but I was very mindful about teaching my daughter when she was growing up, and I want to teach you three of the things that you can do to help teach your kids about buying stuff.

Number one, have a plan for when they ask for something when you’re out shopping. Don’t just buy something right then when they want it. Take them back home. Talk to them about where the money is going to come from. Can they earn it? Do they have an allowance? Do they have a plan for their spending allowance? How much does it cost? Look at some of those kinds of questions that I’ve taught you to ask yourself and have them think about it.

If they weren’t going to buy that one thing with their money, what else would they buy? Go over some of those decisions and even if it’s a $5 toy and I’m completely serious. Talk to them about this $5 toy because what you’re doing is laying the groundwork for when they want to buy a $60 computer game or a $400 smartphone or their first starter car or when they want to buy their college education which they’re probably going to buy partly with you. You want them to have that groundwork of practicing with small things.

The second thing you want to teach your kid is how to put together a spending plan. If you’ve got a vacation coming up, sit down on a family night over ice cream and talk about that vacation and what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go and where you’re going to have to spend money.

If they’re teenagers, they’re old enough to do a bunch of the internet research probably better than you and put that spending plan together. Have them do it. If they’re younger than teenagers, then sit with them and go through parts of it, the simple stuff. How much are tickets to Disneyland? Make it fun. Include your kids in this. Don’t make it dull.

The third thing is there are parts of your spending plan that have everything to do with your kids. I want you to incorporate them in those decisions. If they have a clothing budget every month, let them know how much it is. What I did with my daughter when she was young was around summer camps. We had a set amount of money and summer camps is the kind of thing that you can send thousands of dollars on, and so she had a budget, and she looked at the thing she wanted to do and made some balanced decisions about whether it was going to be horse camp year or tennis year or swimming year. She would choose. We made her an active participant in that, and hopefully she learned something from it.

So those are a few ways that you can teach your kids how to buy stuff. If you want to come chat with me about ideas you have with teaching your kids, come join our Facebook group Team Do Better. It’s a private group where only people that are working on doing better with their money are at. You can also join our weekly newsletter list at and don’t forget to subscribe below to our video series, so you will know when they come out. Now go have a conversation with your kid.

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