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Teaching Children How to Price Compare

Apr 18, 2024 09:04AM ● By Nikki Ducas

Does money burn a hole in your child’s pocket as soon as they receive it? If they are like my son, the money is spent in his head well before he’s earned it, and now that he thinks he has enough money, he’s begging to go to the electronics store to buy a new game. So, how do you get your child to delay a purchase? 

            It is not unusual to unabatingly have him buy a big-ticket item. My wait and see approach gives us time to see if he really wants it and/or time to research and do some price comparison to make sure he’s really getting the best price for his money.

              Since I have always been financially savvy, my teen has heard me time and time again use these strategies before making a purchase. 


·       Waiting Game: It really does make practical sense to consider the monetary value of the purchase. If the item costs $10, wait three days; $20, wait a week; $50, two weeks; $100 or more, a month.  This ensures that your child will either have a real incentive to earn and save his money for said item or forget he ever wanted it (mostly the latter in our house). 

·       Price Comparisons: Your child’s age should determine how much you’ll need to show or explain price comparisons. The game he wants retails for $60. Explain how much the game costs and how much he has available. Figure out if he has enough money to purchase it and, if he doesn’t, most likely the purchase won’t be made in the store today. We’ll use price comparison websites or online tools such as Google Shopping or Shopzilla to compare market prices. Sometimes buying online is cheaper than buying in the store, but be sure to calculate shipping fees when comparing prices. 

·       Give. Save. Spend: How does he get the $60 game for $55? Earned money is divided into different categories: give, save, and spend. Now that my teen has a better understanding of the value of the dollar and his purchases are pricier, I allow him to keep 50% for spending, 25% for saving/investing, and 25% for giving.  

·       Make Shopping a Game: Your children will soon realize that using coupons, online price comparison shopping, and buying off-brand items will keep their hard-earned money in their pocket and allow them to prioritize their purchases.


            Instead of buying the game at the store, my teen decided to order the game online. Even though he has to wait a few more days for the game to arrive and has to pay shipping costs, in the end he saved $5 by taking the time to research and exercise patience. 


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