How Parents Can Stop Overspending on Their Kids

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Many parents give in to weakness when it comes to spending money on their children.

Whether it’s buying a 6-year-old a candy at the checkout counter or sending a grown child a check to cover rent, the urge to spend to please kids is powerful.

“Parents want their children to be happy,” says Chicago-based Certified Financial Planner Leisa Brown Aiken. And kids are “really good at making you feel like if they don’t understand, they’re going to be unhappy and you’re a bad parent.”

Giving in to these impulses, however, can have serious financial consequences, says Joan Koonce, a professor and financial planning expert at the University of Georgia. “Parents try to provide these things (for children), and sometimes it’s a bad situation because they really can’t afford it,” she says.

Worse still, it creates a pattern with increasingly higher stakes as the children get older. “When they first leave their parents’ house, many of them end up in a lot of debt,” says Koonce.

Here are some financial moves kids commonly demand and how to fend them off.

Set a good example for your children. Buy a savings account today.

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