Michael Brandy, Deseret News

Every parent gives into their child at one time or another, but sometimes spending money on kids isn't a good idea. Here's a list of ways parents shouldn't spend money on their kids, according to Fox Business.

Buying expensive brand name instead of cheap alternatives
Michael Brandy, Deseret News

Brands and advertising have a strong influence on kids. The food industry spends more than $10 billion a year on advertising towards children, according to a 2004 study from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

"The $1.50 yogurt versus the $4 yogurt isn't the biggest problem. The problem is you've set that pattern, and then when it's middle school, your kid only wants $75 T-shirts," Chicago-based CFP Leisa Brown Aiken told Fox Business.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Kids often want the latest electronics, clothes and cars because their peers have them, Aiken told Fox Business. Sometimes parents give in and buy the items whether they can afford them or not.

Even if they can afford it, they shouldn't buy the items because it leads kids to expect a certain standard of living they may not be able to afford later in life, Aiken told Fox Business.

Impulse purchases

Buying something because of a child's impulse is usually a bad idea. It might not seem expensive in the beginning, but over time the costs add up, Laura Scharr, principal of Ascend Financial Planning LLC in Columbia, S.C. told Fox Business.

Kids will start to see their parents as easy marks and they'll always want expensive desserts, clothes and video games, Scharr told Fox Business.

Dream schools

Tuition, room and board had an average cost of $21,189 per year for the 2009-2010 school year, according to the National Center Educational Statistics.

Kids frequently want to attend expensive universities and expect their parents to pay for it, Scharr told Fox Business. Parents should encourage their kids to attend local schools and if the kids want to go out of state, they have to pay for the rest.


The average wedding in the U.S. cost $25,631 in 2011, according to an annual study by the Tucson, Ariz.-based market research firm The Wedding Report.

Even if they're struggling financially parents frequently have no spending limit for their kids' weddings, Scharr told Fox Business. That gives the child few incentives to curb spending. Parents should be honest and upfront with their kids about their finances.