How to teach your child to be a smart spender

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31 2012 10:51 a.m. MDT

There are several places that encourage impulse buying for children, but there are steps parents can take to have their children make better buying decisions.

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There are several places that encourage children to make impulse purchases, but there are steps parents can take to have their children make better buying decisions, according to Learnvest.

One method is to pay for all of your child’s needs, holiday and birthday presents, but leave buying their wants up to them, according to Learnvest, citing the book “The Opposite of Spoiled” by New York Times columnist Ron Lieber.

A tool that enables children to buy their wants while appreciating the true value of money is an allowance. “There is nothing like real dollars in the real world to teach real lessons,” Lieber writes.

When parents know if their children are natural spenders or savers, they can adjust their teaching by either asking them what they are saving for, or showing them the disadvantages of wasteful spending.

For families where an allowance isn’t a possibility, parents can set a limit on what they’ll buy their children, while still letting them make the decision. This causes the child to shop around and really consider what they want to buy.

Sometimes a child will get jealous of what others have. A good way to counteract this feeling is to remind your child of special opportunities they have that others don’t, which can promote a feeling of gratitude.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

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