I wish I had consistently done ALL of the things that are listed in the attached article written by Dr. Charles Fay of Love and Logic. I did give my girls the opportunity to have a clothing budget for at least a year. They were given a fixed amount each month and were told that they needed to project what they might need from month to month. They had to evaluate whether they would need a new winter coat as well as be prepared for any other seasonal clothing needs such as shorts or a bathing suit.
Some benefits were the realization that they were able to stretch their budget if they chose some lightly used clothing. They also figured out that they didn’t always need a new winter coat from one year to the next. It turned out to be pretty useful exercise in budgeting.
Another useful tactic, in lieu of a fixed price budget, is setting a limit on what the parent will contribute to an item. I always did what I could to remove the power struggle. For example, if I offered to pay $50 for a reasonable pair of shoes, the girls could get whatever shoes they wanted if they paid the difference. It’s amazing how resourceful and practical kids can be when they really WANT something AND they shoulder some responsibility for their choices! I did have some restrictions though. I HATE the thought of buying brand new jeans that look like they got into a fight with a starving moth (and the moth won). I know it is fashionable to wear jeans that were “destroyed” prior to purchase. I also know that these jeans are sold at a premium price. I KNOW I sound old, but I DO NOT LIKE THEM!!! I didn’t forbid the purchase or wearing of those jeans; I simply stipulated that MY money wouldn’t be used to buy them!
It’s hard to read articles with good ideas and then focus on all of the things I’ve done wrong. But just for today, I’m going to fixate on the few things I got right!