One of our favorite sayings around the Gifting Sense office is “Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do”. For our purposes, this translates into save where you can, so when you see something you believe will really improve your life, you are in a position to purchase it. How do we give our kids the skill of delaying gratification and waiting until spending money makes the most sense of all – when they are constantly bombarded by enticements to be fashionable and social in ways that cost money? By giving them the gift of experiencing first-hand the satisfaction of making a much-anticipated purchase after planning and saving for it. Summer, when routines are different, and back-to-school wish-lists loom, is the perfect time to do that.
The summer Lucie was 12 years old, she and a neighbourhood boy delivered the Toronto Star to all the houses on their side of town. They made $20.00 each for the season and Lucie spent $12.00 on a burgundy Timex watch, purchased at the 1970’s Canadian version of Costco – Consumer’s Distributors. That watch was a symbol of what could be accomplished when she saved and waited. She says few purchases since then have been as meaningful. “Like your first kiss, car or home, you never forget your first bigger purchase.” When you put it that way Lucie, we have to agree!
What is it a young person in your life is mooning for? A new bike? A new phone? To attend an upcoming concert? Ask them to complete a Gift Survey if you don’t know the answer to that question. Use the automatically generated pdf summary of the Gift Survey to put a plan in place that can help make the dream in question come true. Gift Surveys help kids answer all the questions parents normally want addressed before agreeing to spend money. They were specifically designed to help parents teach their kids to think before they buy. They were specifically designed to help kids research if a purchase makes sense, and graciously ask for help if it is required. They force the injection of “think-twice-time” in between wanting and getting. In other words, they help parents give their kids the gift of experiencing the satisfaction of making a much-anticipated purchase – after realizing it’s true cost and value.
If your kids accept that they have jobs they have to do, before they can participate in activities they want to be involved with, or purchase items they would like, they are learning to delay gratification – a critical component to becoming a thoughtful, financially literate consumer.
If school begins the Tuesday after Labor Day in your community, you have 8 weeks from yesterday to give your children the gift of learning to think before they buy this summer. September is close enough to make a goal feel achievable, but far away enough to make the experience of waiting to receive real. Kids have much more time in the summer to help out around the house or neighbourhood to earn some pocket money, even if they are too young to get an actual job.
Lucie says she bought her beloved Timex at Consumer’s Distributors because her grandmother had told her she would pay less for the same watch at that no-frills retailer, as she would at Eaton’s Department Store. Lucie was eager to save money, because it was her own she was spending. Why not travel back in time this summer and tell your kids about the first larger more meaningful purchase you made with money earned at a summer job? Then, see if 2016 can’t be the year your kids experience the real and lasting satisfaction of having earned and planned their own first larger consumer decision. Gift Surveys were purpose-built to help families get that job done in the most efficient way possible. Click on the pink or green buttons below to get started today.