The Wall Street Journal logoSue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal recently published an article regarding “Managing Expectations of Costly Kids” in which I was fortunate enough to be included regarding budget restrictions and tough economic choices with kids – especially when it affects purchases for them.

As stated in Sue’s article, “the cost of raising kids is continuing to rise. A middle-income family can expect to shell out nearly a quarter of a million dollars, or $222,360, to raise a baby born in 2009 to age 18, according to the Department of Agriculture. That is up about 1.4% from 2007, before the recession began—and it doesn’t include college costs.”  Sigh.

Economic times are tough and kids don’t always understand how it will impact them.  So before telling your kids that you just can’t afford something they want at the mall consider starting them on allowance that covers a few expenses in their lives that they will be in charge of – not you.  Then next time they want something at the mall it will be up to them to decide if they want to spend their money.  Trust me – it’s harder for them to spend their money than it is to spend our money.

Allowance takes time and the resolve to stick to it, but making them accountable will help them better understand “needs” vs. “wants” and, as demonstrated in the article, they may come up with some creative (and economical) solutions  of their own in the process.

Click here to read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.

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