Kids and Consumerism

Consumerism strikes at a young age. Advertising targeted at children is hard-hitting and hard to resist. It’s no wonder that 93 percent of American teenage girls reported that store-shopping is their favorite activity. Here are some tips to teach savvy shopping and money habits to the kids in your life.

• Teach money management skills with allowances starting at an early age. Show how money should be responsibly spent, saved, and shared.

• Establish a “new thing in, old thing out” system where some purging takes place before buying new clothes, toys, and gadgets. Limit exposure to media so there’s less temptation.

• Help high schoolers understand credit cards and how they work. Calculate interest rates so they understand what they’re really paying in the end.

• Teach kids to shop with a list and stick to it to avoid impulse purchasing. Know that kids are looking to adults for spending guidelines. If you have good habits, they will, too.

• Set up a children’s savings account. Encourage kids to set aside a percentage of their money to save for college, a car, or other long-term purchases.

• Help them find a charity that touches their hearts and encourage frequent generosity.

• Encourage community involvement, providing a healthy outlet for time and a better understanding of others and their lifestyles.

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