Children make up one of the globe’s greatest consumer bases -and they haven’t even secured their first paycheck yet.
Hmmm... strange. So you mean to tell us -it’s the parents doing all the spending on their behalf? Shocking!
According to GlobalIssues.org, companies spend $15-17 billion advertising to children in the U.S. each year, with $4 billion of that sum bubbling out of the fast food industry alone.
But of course, children spend a lot (of our money, anyhow).
Children aged 8-12 represent $30 billion in U.S. spending each year, while teenagers spend $160 billion a year.
Further, children under the age of 12 influence parental spending totaling $130-670 billion in the U.S. every year.
Advertisers know how to get your kids wanting more. They’re like adorable little ninjas... well-equipped with their cheekish little smiles and big doughy eyes, infiltrating your pockets and wallets on behalf of companies who like to use them like fishing rods.
So let’s stop for a moment, take a breath, zip those pockets closed (a padlock might come in handy), and consider ways to convince our kids to buy less…
5 creative ways to tell your kids "no"
Tip #1 - Tell them yes
Children don’t respond all that well to being told “No” (in case you haven’t already noticed). However, by proposing positive alternatives that sound way more fun than going to the toy store, you’re giving your child an opportunity to choose.
And really, what would be more fun - going to the park to play hide and seek, or going to the toy store to buy something they only kind of want anyway?
Tip #2 - Have them make a vision board
First off, doing stuff is always way more fun than having stuff -and arts and crafts are way fun. If your child wants something, encourage them to make a wish or vision board with you (you’ll benefit from the activity too). They’ll feel they’ve still gained something - even if it’s not a material possession.
Tip #3 - Challenge them to save
Make it into a savings game. Offer them pay for doing household chores outside their responsibility (don’t just bribe them to do what they’re already expected to do) and challenge them to save their cash for the big purchase. This will help instill healthy money-saving values and it may help restrict the number of fad purchases they fall for.
Tip #4 - Side with them
“You’re right, that would be so cool to have!” or “Oh gosh, I really want that too!” are just a couple of examples author Alisa Weinstein of "Earn It, Learn It: Teach Your Child the Value of Money, Work, and Time Well Spent" uses to illustrate how parents can get on the same page as their children with money matters.
It’s not about shaming your child for wanting things or trying to stamp out their urge to spend; it’s about acknowledging and respecting their feelings, then working with them to think up alternatives.
Tip #5 - Create a schedule
Okay, your kids are pretty awesome. They deserve cool stuff every once in a while. So why not set up a spending schedule with them and teach them to stick to it?
For instance, maybe you’ll buy them a small-sticker item every 2 months; or, if they’re eyeing a more expensive purchase, they can hold off on the small-sticker items for a few more months and go for the bigger buy.
That way, they become the master of their consumerist destinies - which means advertisers no longer hold that power.
When saying "no" is a positive thing
Every parent wants to fulfill their child's needs and wishes - but even billionaires hold back on that urge.
Kids need to grow up with values and respect - and, similarly, they need to grow up feeling valued and respected.
It’s a tough balance, but we have faith in your instincts - and your child's.
by Golden Girl Finance
A leader in financial digital media, Golden Girl Finance is the modern woman's guide to finance, making the discussion of finance real, relevant and relatable - and shockingly entertaining.