Kids, shopping and learning about money

Updated 12 months ago

When I was a kid and the family would drive by a school- any school- I would hold my breathe until we’d pass it. It wasn’t learning that bugged me, it was the routine of school. But it’s getting to be that time again: time for school shopping. We’ve talked before about helping kids learn about money by giving them budget information so they can take an active role in making purchasing decisions. They will also learn about every family’s finite school budget. Don’t think they will be traumatized by the information. They will be empowered and will prioritize what item of clothing or technology really deserves a higher level of expenditure. Spending is becoming the activity of choice among kids- Born to Buy, by Juliet B. Schor, compiles some alarming trends with kids and shopping. American kids, according to Schor, believe ‘that their clothes and brands describe who they are and define their social status.’ She goes on to state that, ‘Children’s social worlds are increasingly constructed around consuming.’ (Emphasis mine.) Schor cites data compiled in 1997 showing how kids spend their time. Kids – ages 6 – teens- spend about 2.5 hours shopping per week. That is many times what they spend per week in art, talking to family, reading, outdoors, and studying. It is also more time than they spend in religious activities. (Younger children spend even more time shopping.) Kids might know a lot about stores and ‘cool brands’ but they have little idea on how much money is available for school shopping and how that compares to the long list of things they want. Just a reminder, don’t take any griping about the size of the shopping budget as a personal insult. Kids may whine about a lot of things, it doesn’t mean anything personal. Here are a few ideas for helping kids learn about money during school shopping trips: Have a shopping strategy- talk about the size of the budget before you head out to the stores. Use the internet or store fliers to get an idea of the prices of hoped-for items. Prioritize- How many outfits can be made from the separates you’re planning – or thinking- of buying? Go to the library, or check the internet, or have a fun day with friends making new outfits from just a few pieces of clothing. Be Sensitive- It is the culture of kids to feel that their WORTH comes from the brand. It is not correct that they feel this way, but they feel this way regardless. Help them know that their worth is intrinsic. Juliet B. Schor, Born to Buy, page 13 Schor, pg.11Schor, pg. 30 Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2009 by Market Surveys of America —————–In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.


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