Recently, our two youngest boys came to me very excited. Something they wanted was on sale – today only! They had discussed it at length (a solid five minutes, I’m sure) and decided that they would like to pool their money to purchase it. They eagerly asked me if it was okay.
See how studious these two are, always sitting still,
focused while carefully writing scripture? Mmmhmmm.
I had mixed feelings. The boring mom in me knew that they definitely didn’t need the item. But the fun mom in me knows it’s okay to spend a little money on fun sometimes. Our boys are all very good savers. They rarely spend their hard earned money or birthday money, and in fact, they rarely even ask to spend it. I knew that since they were asking, and since they’d already discussed how to go in on it together, the purchase was important to them.
So, the non-decisive mom in me said, “Let’s talk to Dad and see what he thinks.” Then the practical mom in me asked a thought provoking question:
If this item wasn’t on sale, would you still want it this badly? Or do you just think you want it because it’s on sale today?
It started a great discussion, which of course ended with the boys asking, “um, so can we buy it?” Clearly, I had been able to make my nine and twelve year old think deeply, and offered them life-lessons that they’ll take with them long into adulthood.
After talking it over with Dad, we came to the decision that since it was such a huge discount, and only totaled $5, their purchase sounded like a fun idea this time. While five dollars doesn’t sound like a big deal, and while it might seem that our dilemma and discussion was silly over such a small amount – we feel that every financial decision needs to be talked through, especially at their ages. Throwing money at this and that is a great way to end up with an empty wallet. We felt it was important to take advantage of that teachable moment.
So how about we adults? What factors into our decisions as we decide what to spend our money on? Do you frequently make impulse purchases, buying something that is on sale whether you need it or not?
We’ve been talking recently about budgeting and the envelope system as we all work together to let Budget Focus get our finances on track. I’d love to hear what helps you process your spending decisions. Also, I’d love to hear from those of you who have taken advantage of the free 14-day trial at Budget Focus. Have you plugged in all your numbers into their simple budgeting and online envelope system? I encourage you all to check out what Budget Focus has to offer. You can try it for free, and their pricing packages are worth paying for as a way to help you get your budget organized and running smoothly.
How do you help your kids make a purchasing decision?