Parenting is: model intentional spending
AND WE’RE OFF! The countdown to Christmas (or Chanukah – or whatever your family tradition) has begun!
For many families, this means lists and shopping, parties and concerts, wrapping and traveling. It usually also means SPENDING!
“Many of us would agree we enjoy spending money on things that bring us pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with spending money—but problems can arise when we spend money we don’t have or overspend excessively.The holidays can be a challenge in terms of spending. We feel pressure to buy gifts for our loved ones while simultaneously being bombarded by advertisements encouraging us to treat ourselves.”
December is one of many times for us to get intentional with our spending. We know that kids learn what they live, so if we want our children to grow up with spending habits that fit their income, this is the perfect chance to take the time to teach; through our habits, our modeling and our life lessons.
Research tells us that one of the primary reasons for overspending is a feeling of control:
“A fundamental reason we enjoy spending money is that it allots us feelings of being in control. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, consumers typically shop while feeling sad, an emotion strongly linked to feelings of lack of control. Researchers found that making purchases—also known as retail therapy—not only reduced feelings of sadness but also restored a sense of personal control.”
Right now is the perfect time to take control of the spending. There are many ways to make that happen WITH your kids:
– Create a budget for gifts
– Consider what is truly a gift for the people in your life (do teachers really need one more mug or would they appreciate a hand-written note from your child?)
– Ponder whether your kids really remember the gift that they got 3 years ago…or is it the time/traditions that are really important at this time of year?
– Ask your kids their ideas about controlling spending and also where to send the extra money (what charities are the most important to your family?)
When it comes right down to it, the way we live our daily lives is the way we teach our children. We encourage you to take a moment to get intentional about your family spending and to talk about it with your kids.
Check out Gail’s recent appearance on Global for suggestions regarding family time during the holidays!