SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: This “Money: It’s Personal” story is written using fictional characters to help younger audiences understand the shopping wisely concept. This story is the final part of a back-to-school mini-series on GMSA at 9.
Ann is 4, and her big sister, Diana, is 11. They’re learning how to shop responsibly with the help of their dad, Andrew.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is offering families like theirs some tips to help them discuss some ways to spend money wisely.
Andrew can show little Ann the different types of bills and coins that exist so that she can learn about the currency she will one day use to pay for items.
Andrew can also use a phrase like, “There are lots of things that are of value, and some of them cost money.”
Ann’s dad can give her examples of the free things in life, like spending time with family members. And he can also talk to her about things that cost money, like pointing out the cost of Ann’s school clothes or the gas they paid to get to the clothing store.
Ann can also learn about the choices one has when they are out shopping. Andrew can use a phrase like, “You need to make wise choices about how to spend your money.” He can also use real-world examples to help Ann understand this concept, like explaining the family budget or why he picks one item at the grocery store over another.
Now, since Diana is a little older, Andrew can discuss cost-saving shopping with her and also warn her about some of the hurdles she may encounter along the way.
Andrew can talk with Diana about advertising and how it can get people to spend more money. He can point out that people have a choice on what to spend their money on and when.
Andrew can use a phrase like, “It’s a good habit to shop around and compare prices before you buy.” This can help Diana understand how to shop wisely.
Diana can also learn about how to use coupons or discount codes while shopping. Andrew can point out the savings that one gets when using these cost-saving tools out in the real world or while shopping online.
Andrew can also use store receipts to help Diana understand the concept of sales tax. He can explain what the tax is used for and why it’s essential to plan for taxes before you buy.