In our technologically advanced and product based world, recognizing a need vs. a want is a skill. It’s a tool that we all must learn, especially our kids. Often when they want something, they will beg and plead to have it, often just because their friends already do.
Sometimes, however, it’s us parents who have difficulty differentiating between what to splurge on and what to be more frugal with. When it comes to parenting, there are some definite items that make sense to save up and splurge on, while there are countless others that will suffice with a less expensive version.
Here are just a few:
Electronics: Brand names go a long way in terms of warranty and durability factors. Computers and phones from lesser-known companies can often spell trouble.
Bedding: Sleep is as vital to good health as proper nutrition and there is nothing worse than skimping on bedding and then making nightly attempts at a comfy slumber using coarse, uncomfortable sheets. Remember, the more comfy the kids re, the longer they will stay asleep. Splurge (but wait for sales to do so!).
Gifts/Toys: When a child wants a Monster High doll or an iPod Touch, a Barbie doll or MP3 player just won’t do. One of the favorite parts of childhood is receiving a present they were just dying to have so if it’s a birthday or holiday, and your child has wanted a special thing for months on end, consider how much would it mean to him/her to get that present. For parents, it can be priceless. Just save up in advance for any items that are pricey.
Jackets: Here’s a simple truth: jackets and coats from brand name companies are incredibly warmer. When it’s 20 degrees and snowing outside, it will matter more that you child is warm than the $50 bucks you saved on a lesser jacket only to find your child shaking in her boots from being cold.
Pajamas: Pajamas are such a temporary piece of clothing. Winter PJs only last until it gets warm and then the child grows out of them by following year. Plus, if you are frugal about sleepwear purchases, you can get a few pairs vs. one pair and then not feel bad about throwing them out when the season is over.
Everyday sneakers: A kid’s foot grows like a weed. If you’re even thinking of spending hundreds of dollars on a brand name child’s sneaker that they will grow out of in a couple of months, you might need to attend Parent Shopping 101.
Socks/Underwear: Your kid will go through tons (that’s a determined figure) of socks and underwear in a lifetime. They’ll grow out of underwear quickly and lose socks regularly- so in other words, go cheap!
Lunchbox: I have yet to find a lunchbox that has met all my expectations. By the end of the school year, they are so worn, gross, and germ-ridden, I cannot wait to throw them out. And if you ever have that explosive, horrendous lunch experience, you won’t feel so bad throwing it in the garbage before the year is out and having your kid brown bag it if was inexpensive.
A big thanks to Citi for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.