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Money Management: Curbing Impulse Buys4/16/2018

Picture of family shopping

Lesson: Resisting impulse buys can be rewarding and help you achieve long-term goals.

Ages: 5 and up

Resisting impulse buys and last minute grabs in the check-out line can pay off big time in your budget’s bottom line.  How can you teach your kids to resist oh-so-tempting treats, while also showing that saving can be rewarding?  Try this interactive store activity!

Choose a store you and your child visit regularly.  It can be a big brand, local grocery or even a dollar store, so long as it has its fair share of tempting impulse purchases that your child usually requests.

Before you set out, implement the following rules:

  1. Give your child a designated amount of cash for a treat.  How much you want to give your child is up to you, anything from one dollar to ten! 
  2. Tell your child that they are in charge of picking out their own treat; using the money they have been given.
  3. Here’s the kicker: If your child does not spend all of their allotted money at the store, you’ll let them keep the cash and match the amount when you get home!  They can then do whatever they want with the money, including using it next time you visit the store.

After practicing this activity a few times, talk to your child about what they have learned.  What reward did they receive for not spending all of their treat money?  How did not buying a special treat today, benefit them in the long run?  How do adults use this principle to save?  The key here is to show your child resisting tempting purchases today, can pay off big tomorrow.  You’ll help teach self-control and the basics of investing at the same time! 

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