We all want our kids to be happy. However, many parents are paying for happiness when they really can’t afford it.
Here is a list of crazy ways we waste money on our kids.
1. Eating out
Unless you’re going to IHOP, you’re munchkins aren’t going to touch most of their food. Either leave them at home with the in-laws so you can enjoy a peaceful meal or bring along some snacks for them to munch on.
I’ll never forget eating at a steak place with $80 steaks and seeing a family with three kids (none over 13) seated near us. Ridiculous.
2. Cell phones
Raise your hand if you’re alive right now and didn’t have a cell phone growing up.
3. Impulse buys at the grocery store
There is a reason all the yummy candy bars are at children’s eye-level at the grocery store checkout.
Giving in to a candy bar every trip to the store can lead to bigger wants down the road. Video games at the mall. Desserts at the restaurant.
Instead, set a goal for something they can save for and work toward. It will help them understand the value of long-term saving over frequent spending on small things.
Does your kid have to have a TV in their room? Maybe a trip to the library to introduce them to the wonderful world of books might provide a better source of entertainment. Plus they will become smarter.
5. Video games
Your son is going to complete a new video game in about three days. What then? Time to buy another.
Free game apps usually have paid upgrades, and many come with monthly recurring subscriptions.
If your kids really want to play, have them buy the games with their money. If they don’t, they can always play outside.
6. Pricey clothes
An outfit for a one-year-old is going to last, what, about a month before it doesn’t fit anymore?
You can find clothes from Baby Gap, Carters, and GapKids at kids consignment sales for 25% of the price at the store.
Your kids can look cute without breaking the bank.
7. Kids birthday parties
Do you remember mom baking a Betty Crocker cake and having five or six of your friends over for cake and ice cream?
Today it’s 50 custom invitations being sent in the mail, bounce houses, rented zoo animals, pony rides, and beer and wine for the parents.
Your kid will still have a great time with only some cake and ice cream. Trust me.
8. Swimming pools
Between the upkeep and cost of a pool – even if you buy a house with one already – you’ll never make your money back on your backyard paradise.
For the one or two dozen times a summer you’re kids will use a pool, visit a community pool instead.
9. Buying name brands instead of store brands
According to a study from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the U.S. food industry spends more than $10 billion per year advertising to young eyeballs. And it’s working!
From toys to cereal, there are cheaper alternatives that won’t break the bank.
Great O’s and Honest O’s taste just as good as Cheerios.
10. Keeping up with the Joneses
When your kids see their friends getting nice clothes or a brand new sports car when they get their drivers license, they will demand the same.
Kids don’t have the same concept of money or long-term goals as adults.
Teaching kids about money at a very young age will help them stay out of debt later in life. If they want an expensive toy or a car, have them figure out how to pay for it. They’ll learn a valuable lesson about work and money in the process.
Do you remember that fit you threw when you were six because mom wouldn’t buy you a candy bar? No, I don’t either. And neither will your kids.
Kids are impulsive and have an ‘I want it!’ point of view. By teaching your kids the valuable lesson of being content with what they have, their attitude will change for the better.
They’ll be happier, and you’ll have more money in your wallet.
Question: What are your kids asking for that you’ve stuck to your guns and said no to? Please leave a comment below.