The Shopping Habits of the Young: My Version

Today we went school clothes shopping for our daughters. My wife gave them a finite amount of money to spend. We went to two or three stores. After the first store, they bought probably 8-10 items of clothing each. What I found interesting was the fact that with a limited amount of money after the first store, each child took twice as long to spend their money.

They also hoped mom would kick in more money, which she didn’t.

We’ve been teaching them to budget and to get the most they can for their money. Initially living in our household, the advertising that bombards commercials and magazines steers the kids into high price name brand directions. We’ve always remained firm on our stance- if you earn the money to buy those $60-$100 pair of brand name clothes, go for it. Otherwise, you’ll have to suffice with our help and our budget.

As a male, I can shop in about 20 minutes for clothing. I know what I want, I search it out, I try it on if necessary, I go to the counter and purchase, and I’m out the door. I don’t consult with everyone in the store to see how things look, how they fit, if it’s a nice color on me, what ten different outfits the item will coordinate with, etc. Can you say today’s 4 hour shopping excursion would be a test of patience on my part?

At least where we decided to shop had a couple of used bookstore sections, so I was able to get:

Man’s Search for Meaning- Victor Frankl

Power Networking

Winning Every Day- Lou Holtz

12 Pillars- Jim Rohn and Chris Widener

The Aladdin Factor- Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

All for under $15 total. Can’t complain about those bargains for my reading pleasure.

This is meant to be a fun blog entry- but women of the world please understand: males are wired for shopping differently than females. Keep this in mind when you want us to go with you. If there aren’t electronics, sports, or other items that normally pertain to our interests in the shopping experience, we will have enough of shopping in about hour number two.

I’m hoping that our children keep these budgeting skills and shopping savvy in mind when they finally uproot from our home to live on their own. There’s nothing wrong with searching for the best buys, even if it’s through second hand thrift stores. There are a ton of items gently worn (if not ever) that you can find at 70-80% off the retail prices. It is interesting to watch how they spend their own money versus money that’s supplied by us- they believe there’s a phantom money tree we siphon off of in the backyard.

What are some of your best school shopping expeditions that you remember as a child? How about now as a parent- do they differ much or have you tried to start new traditions with your sons and daughters? I have survived another year, we will see how things go after the first of the year as we tend to buy more clothes when the colder months draw near.

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