Nine ways you can set an example as you shop and instill a few values.
Shopping is a great time to teach your children financial skills that will stick with them for years to come. Here are nine lessons from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling that parents can use to instill lasting values in their young shoppers and keep them out of debt.
1. Take the kids with you. It's easier and faster to shop alone, but take the kids and how them how to compare prices and quality.
2. A battle plan. Have the kids check the ads for what they want and make a list of the stores with the best prices.
3. Develop a spending plan. Show the kids how to figure out how much money they have to buy gifts or items for themselves and how to divide the money.
4. Be an example. Kids learn by watching, so try to pay cash and explain theimplications of using credit cards.
5. No money, no shopping. Don't bail out the kids with a few extra bucks and they will learn to stick with the program.
6. It's the thought. Encourage the kids to make handmade gifts so they learn that it's what behind the gesture that counts, not the extravagance of the gesture.
7. Teach the meaning of giving. The holidays are a great time to donate time, money or food to charities.
8. Let them earn. During the holiday season, they can do extra chores around the house for cash, do errands for neighbors and even get a part-time holiday job to get extra money.
9. Conserve cash. Teach them to save extra money by packing lunches, avoiding after-school treats at the local café, avoiding ATMs and renting videos rather than going to the movies.