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Teaching Your Kids About Money: Start Early, Start Now (part 2 of 4)

**continued from last week’s post**

Shopping for Groceries without the Tantrums

When you go to the grocery store with your kids, give them a few dollars of their own to spend and let them choose anything as long as they stay within that amount. And stick to it!  If you give them $5 and an item they see is $5.50, don’t give them more than you initially gave them.
This lesson is about setting realistic expectations, getting them to understand that you can’t have everything you want and that it’s okay. Giving them their “own money” also avoids arguments about all the things they want to buy versus things that need to be bought based on your grocery list. Since they have their own money, they can buy what they want without making you go over your grocery budget.
When we would enter a grocery store, my dad would give me $2.00. The deal was that I could spend it on anything I wanted but that is all I got. So, we would walk around the grocery store, my dad picking up groceries for our family and me putting a few things into the cart for myself. When we would get into the grocery line, my dad would ask me what I wanted out of all the things I had picked up. He would talk about the price of each item, if the item was within my means of $2.00, what I liked the most, what I might have picked last time, etc.
By taking the time to go through this exercise, he was helping me reason out my decision at such a young age, the beginning of my rationalization skills. He was also instilling the value of living within your means as I could only spend what I had.  By the time we got to the till, I didn’t ask him for anything else since I had already picked something for myself with the money I had been given.
This technique really helped in avoiding arguments and temper tantrums at the grocery store.
**This is the second in a 4 part series.  See next week for part 3**

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