Tip for Teaching Spending Limits

By: Chuck Kuster

Main Message

Parents can create opportunities to set spending limits. This clever mother provides children opportunities to make spending choices.

I noticed an interesting exchange between a mom and her daughter at a fast-food restaurant. The mother gave the girl a simple option: she could have fries or a soda, not both.soda-or-fries

The youngster was about 7 years old and opted for the fries without argument. In fact, she seemed pleased that she got to choose.

It struck me that the clever mom was communicating a couple money principles in just a few minutes.

  1. She demonstrated there were limits in what she was willing to spend for lunch – she had a budget.
  2. She created an opportunity for the child to choose which item she wanted the most.

When you think about it, many similar scenarios exist for parents to teach children how to make choices when there are limits, such as:

  • Buying a present for someone
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Choosing school supplies
  • Looking for souvenirs on a vacation

Money MomentThe next time you and a child are standing at a fast food counter, consider setting a spending limit but then allow the child to make his/her selection. It’s a great Money Moment.

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About Chuck

Chuck is a publisher of financial education materials, an entrepreneur, and journalist.
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