How to Unspoil Your Kids (Welcome ABC News Viewers)

By Will Chen on 8 June 2009 2 comments
Photo: ABC News

Spending too much on your kids and not sure how to stop? 

Our good friend Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, the Frugal Duchess, has the answer and shared it with ABC News:



You can find more great tips from Sharon in her book Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money.  

Sharon is also a contributing author to Wise Bread's new book 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.  Her tips are among the best in our book.  We are so impressed with Sharon's insights that we've invited her to become a Wise Bread writer!

For more money tips for kids, check out:

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Myscha Theriault's picture

You were great, Sharon!

Guest's picture

Very interesting video.

I think the comment on birthday parties was right on. Its funny how the kids seemed to enjoy the cheap unorganized free play versus the expensive organized activities.

Reminds me of the expensive Christmas presents for toddlers. The toddlers seem more interested in the box and wrapping paper than the expensive toy.

What I found ironic is the last segment of the video when they discuss the importance of kids learning the relationship between working and buying that nice things they're interested in.

The fact is the many ADULTS do not completely appreciate the relationship between hard work and spending. And the large credit card companies are making this even more difficult.

In agrarian times you worked hard, harvested your crops and then took the crops to town to exchange them for the food and goods your family needed. The correlation between your hard work (the harvest) and the things you bought was immediate.

The widespread use of currency made the work-shopping relationship even more distant. You worked, got money, THEN spent the money on things.

Credit cards made the link between your hard work and your purchases even more distant. When you use your credit card you no longer even think about the work that you have to put in in order to be able to pay for the purchase.

A good way to re-establish the link between your hard work and shopping is to determine how many hours of work that purchase you are about to make will cost you.

That gotta have shirt that's on sale may not look so appealing when you realize that you have to work 4 hours at your job to work for it.

Simply take your yearly salary, subtract taxes, and fixed costs like rent, car payment, health insurance and food.

What you have left is your discretionary spending amount. Divide this by the number of hours you work per year (include your commute time)

You now have how much free money you make per hour of work.

Say you learn that you make $5 an hour in free money. That $30 blouse now costs you 6 hours of work time. Now you can really ask yourself is it worth it?