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Impulse Buys—Teach Your Kids to Say No

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It’s no secret that impulse purchases can wreak havoc on even the most carefully constructed budget. Retailers know this all too well—that’s why checkout counters are packed with gum, candy and travel size goodies that you may not actually need. Falling prey to this marketing ploy with lots of extra items in your cart probably means you’re overspending.


Keeping those impulses in check isn’t easy for a child. Set the example by showing some will power of your own. If you show them how, it will be easier for your children to follow suit.


How to get started
Show your kids how turning down those small impulses can equal big savings—they’ll watch their money grow instead of disappear. This isn’t something you have to do every time you go to the store. Just make sure you’re modeling an example of consistency. Here’s one great option to try:

  • Before you head out on your shopping trip, give your child some cash to buy a treat—a dollar or two is plenty.

  • Explain to your child that they can do whatever they want with the money—spend it or save it. Perhaps brainstorm some ideas for how the money could be used. Then share the best part, the money they don’t spend will be matched by you at home!

  • This introduces kids to the idea of saving for a specific item and is a wonderful way to get them interested in finances. Let the money build and then make a trip specifically to purchase that item! 


It’s amazing to watch your child begin to understand self-control. And, you’re also teaching them the basic principles of investing. These financial lessons will be useful to them throughout their lives. Who knew one small trip to the grocery store could be so powerful?


Prolong the financial education by opening a savings account for your child. Mountain America Credit Union has special youth accounts* that can be linked to a parent account. Then, when your child has amassed a larger sum of money—maybe $20 or so—take a trip to the bank and make a deposit! Start your children on the path to financial success—give us a call, apply through our mobile app or visit one of our branches today.


*Federally insured by NCUA.

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