Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kidflation Affects The Children With Higher Prices At The Candy Store

2010 Chile earthquake - Kids playing in TalcahuanoImage via WikipediaMom and Dad think they have it bad, with paying $4.00 for gas to go to the supermarket to shop for ever rising food prices. Kids have it rough too in this economic downturn. While adults are feeling retail prices increasing 8.5%, kids are feeling it worse in the pocket book with a rise of 14.3% for the things they need to buy.

Typical costs for kid purchases of sweets and candy have risen 24% on average. Soft drinks are up 16% and kids clothing is also up 17%. To make matters worse for the kids, Mom and Dad are handing out less and less pocket money. Some parents have reduced or eliminated giving the kids their pocket money. Though many parents are making the kids earn their extra money by taking on additional chores around the house.

This terrible affect of the recession on kids has helped them learn the cold hard facts of life. They are learning money is finite and you have to work for the money you receive. Today's kids have many more hands out for their money. Also income from jobs and chores have not kept up with the prices. If they have jobs they are probably receiving the minimum wage. With expensive gas, movie tickets, clothes and cell phones the kids are having a hard time making ends meet.

The high cost of video games is affecting junior's pocket book. The average new, must have video game sells for $50. Being in the baby boomer generation, thinking of spending $50 on toys when I was young, Mom and Dad would of thought I was crazy to spend that much.

Teach good lessons

All this spending can be used to teach good economic behavior to your children. Teaching wants verse needs is a lesson that can be taught at a young age. This kind of lesson probably will have to be taught again and again depending on the maturity level of the child.

Teach how money is earned

Handing the kids an allowance is not a good idea because it teaches money is free with no action taken by the child to receive it. Rather teach the child to work for their allowance by doing chores around the house. Linking their regular chores with the money teaches WORK = MONEY. If you get that lesson into that head of mush it will be the best thing you can do for your child.

Teach how money is used

When they finally receive their money they must be taught how to make financial decisions in life. This is the parents time to guide the youth in making good spending decisions. Eventually they will be on their own and you won't have this influence anymore. The kids should learn to spend and save for future spending. Eventually, you should not be paying for everything. So start by keeping things simple. Kids (via their allowance) pay for the wants (toys, snacks, gifts for friends). Parents pay for needs (school supplies, Grandpa’s birthday present) and the expenses that are random or unpredictable (class trips). Of course, it’s still your money. But transferring the responsibility for those expenses to the child gives them the chance to learn to budget and save and make wise choices.

Learn to let go.

You have taught them how to spend now step back and let them try it out. If they do well with their spending you have accomplished a lot. If they fail miserably you have an opportunity to use the failure to teach a lesson. Remember this is a process. As their maturity level rises, or doesn't rise, you will have to at time step in and reinforce the lessons not quite learned yet.

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