Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Teaching Kids Value

By Suzanne O'Connor

Teaching kids the value of a dollar today is tricky. We buy them so much they think it’s easy to purchase things. They don’t see the value or the real compounded expense. Cell phones, computers, music lessons, clothing, school supplies etc are all taken care of by us hardworking parents. Outside of making our kids earn and spend their own money, how do you teach them the value of a buck?

Now that our fashionista daughter’s in High School, We’re really teaching her how to shop for cheap. I’ve turned her on to resale boutiques. She loves taking in pieces and getting a store credit and shopping for new stuff. She doesn’t have a lot to trade, but she gets the idea and realizes that if she buys better quality and takes care of it, she can trade it and get other clothes or keep the cash.

We also take her into Thrift stores.  She sees both the junk and the gems and is learning how to evaluate condition, quality and fashion. Just yesterday she needed a white blouse. After pulling 8 blouses and trying them on, she kept just one… a Faconnable. It was the same price as the Gap, The Limited, and other shirts at $5.49, but it fit better and she liked the fabric and cut better. I then showed her why, pointing out the designer label… designed in France, made n Malaysia.  Original retail would have been $190. We also picked up a couple of binders for school at 25 cents each.

I’ve also turned her on to vintage shops. Some can be pricey and some are just above thrift store quality. She especially like these so she can find unique one of a kind pieces that make a statement and create a unique look. Having her look at the way vintage designs were made also is a way to teach quality in garment construction as well as show her classic designs that never go out of style.

Sample and warehouse sales are great for teaching them value. We especially like the LF Warehouse Sale (October/ December). Here she experiences and sees the additional costs of retail markup and marketing that is in the original retail price. The fun is watching her pick and choose to try to get the most for the money we’ve budgeted.

We do this kind of shopping now all the time. Rarely do we venture into Forever 21, American Eagle or other teen oriented stores … unless they are having a substantial sale.

As she gotten older we’ve also taught her that anything more than the budget we’ve set, come out of her bank account. After two bank with drawls, she has tightened up on what she thinks she needs.

The process will probably be ongoing for quite a few more years. But when we take our kids shopping, we’re teaching them value.

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