It’s no secret that impulse buys can wreak havoc on a carefully constructed budget.
Retailers know this all too well – that’s why the checkout counters in groceries, pharmacies and large shopping centers are packed with dozens of things you may not really need.
Sometimes, you might come home from those stores spending more than you’d planned.
Learning to curb those impulses is an ongoing struggle.
Here’s a strategy you can employ to teach your kids that turning down small impulse buys can mean allowing your money to grow.
Choose a store you and your child visit regularly. It can be Target, Walmart, the local grocery or even a dollar store. It needs a fair share of tempting impulse purchases that your child usually begs for.
Before you set out though, implement the following system:
- Give your child a designated amount of cash for a treat. Parents, you choose the amount. We suggest a range of anywhere from five bucks to just fifty cents. You don’t have to do this every time you go to a store with your child; it can be just once a week or even once every two weeks.
- Tell your child that they are in charge of purchasing their own treat this time, using their new money.
Here’s the kicker: If your child doesn’t spend all their allotted money at the store, you’ll let them keep the cash and match the amount when you get home! Then, they can do whatever they want with that money.
They can choose to use it the next time you go to the store, they can add it to their savings or just put it away for a rainy day.
Make sure your child is clear on the idea that turning down an impulse purchase today means letting it grow into big bucks tomorrow.
The lesson in this trick is two-fold. Your child is learning to use self-control, and at the same time, discovering the basic principles of investing.
How’s that for one small trip to the store?
Stark Federal Credit Union is dedicated to teaching children the importance of saving!
Hop over to our kids page. Perfect for those 3-12 years in age.
Is your child a little older?
No worries, we have a great young adult program! Excellent for the 13-17 years old range.