You did it! You finally said, “No, we are not going to get that today” to your child. Good for you! Now you find yourself faced with a storm, a tantrum of open rebellion. Let’s face it, with all those gizmos and gadgets available to purchase right before Christmas, there are plenty of opportunities to appease your child, pull out your credit card and add to your pile of debt.
So, how do you face the wrath of a child? I say, make a list. Use the list as the bad guy. I used to tell my kids that if it’s not on the list, then it isn’t coming home. You should have seen some of the things they started adding to the list. Cars, computers, and even a new bedroom set. By then, though, the emotion of the moment wasn’t there, and it soon became a family joke to see if I would actually purchase what they wrote on the shopping list. Making a list and checking it twice is great for sticking to your budget and learning to save for those wishful items.
Besides, there’s nothing wrong with having to wait for what you really want.
It’s all about writing it down. Just the act of having to go find the piece of paper, the pen, and then remember what you wanted to put on the list gives you and your family time to think about whether you really want a particular item. So, make your list right now. Ask your kids to make their list. Total up the costs and see if your budget can handle it. If not, put it on the save-for-later list. If it’s important now it will be important a few weeks from now. If not, well, that’s just one more item you can cross off your list.
In the meantime, enjoy finding a new home for all those things you’re not using. There’s always someone in more need than you.