3 Financial Myths About Having Older Children

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3 Financial Myths About Having Older Children thefundamentalhome.com

 

One of the best aspects of spending so much time on YouTube is the people I “meet.”  It is so much fun to get to know others who enjoy watching videos.  Many of those folks are bloggers, too.  One such person, is Liz. She has been frequent visitor to my YT channel and even started her own channel about a month ago.  Her YT handle is The Frugal Libertarian, and her blog is, you guessed it, frugallibertarian.com.  One of the things I most appreciate about Liz is that, though we don’t have a lot in common, we can connect over the things we DO have in common.  For instance, we are both mothers and frugal.  Let’s be honest, those two things connect most of the women I know 😉

Anyway, Liz asked me if I would consider doing a collab with her.  She wanted to talk about some financial myths about having kids.  Liz is the mother of young children, and she has had to deal with SO many critical comments about her purchases that were based on financial myths- including a lecture from her pediatrician who felt that only the most expensive formula was acceptable!  She wanted to share her experiences and encourage mothers of young children, but she thought I could add to this as a mother of older children.  Of course, I have also had my share of criticisms based on financial myths, so I agreed to join her.

I know all of you mothers of older children are fighting battles, especially now as it is Christmas time.  There is so much pressure to buy bigger and better.  Don’t buy into it (literally or figuratively)!  You can have happy, healthy kids without over-spending- at Christmas time or any other time!  Here are 3 Financial Myths About Having Older Kids…

1.  Your children need name brand clothes or they will never fit in.  

I have so many issues with this statement.

First of all (insert angry mama head shake), why do I want my kids to “fit in” anyway?  Why would they want to follow the crowd?  Don’t I want them to be leaders, not followers?  Isn’t it better to encourage your children to be themselves?

Sigh.

Brian has refused to wear some name brand clothing on principal because the branding is often too blatant.  He says he does not want to be a free billboard for someone else’s product.  And fitting in is the LAST thing on his mind.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like name brands.  He loves Banana Republic.  It’s just that he won’t ONLY wear it, and it has nothing to do with fitting in or not.  Brian eschews false popularity, which is the only kind that is gained when it is gained by wearing name brand clothing.  He is a lone wolf, but a leader in his own right.  In college and in the work place, Brian has found it easy to fit in because he is friendly, quiet, and competent.  The brands on his clothes has nothing to do with his ability to build a network.

Briana went to a teen conference this weekend, and she said that 50% of the kids there were wearing the Adidas athletic pants that are so popular now.  She said that, even if she liked them, she would not have worn them because it is so boring to match everyone else.  It’s like a uniform, but instead of being imposed by authority, it is imposed by social pressure.  Who wants to give in to that?  That doesn’t mean she won’t wear name brands.  She likes some of them.  It’s just that it is about what she likes and not about fitting in.

Ricky will wear name brands or not.  For him, it’s all about function.  90% of his clothes have no branding on them, but he has this HUGE Gap hoodie that he wears all the time because it is big and comfy and he loves it (we got it at the Gap outlet on clearance for $5).  Ricky has no problem fitting in.  In fact, he’s pretty much the life of every party.  He’s a trend-setter, not a trend follower.  Ricky could wear any random thing and pull it off- and your child could, too!

That’s the thing about this myth.  It makes your child depend on something outside of themselves (and on their body!) to make connections to other people.  As parents, we should do everything we can to encourage our children to connect with others on a level that is beyond the name on clothes that they wear.  Authentic relationships should hold value over superficial ones built on what is “in” and who has it.  Also, we don’t want them to be the kind of people who value others based on the clothes that they wear.  Just take this myth and throw it away.  Your child’s ability to fit is more about how well they connect with others without the crutch of name brands.  There are lots of attractive, functional pieces of clothing that cost less.  You can even get them at thrift stores- which brings me to my next point…

2.  Your child will feel bad about themselves and their family if they wear clothes from thrift stores.

I hear this ALL. THE. TIME.

And it’s like, have you seen my children?  Do they look like they are embarrassed of their clothing?  And, like, EVERY piece of clothing they wear (maybe not every one, but almost every one) is from a thrift store.  This is just ridiculous.

No one has ever said anything to the boys about wearing thrift store clothing, but Briana did get teased by one girl rather often.  Of course, as Briana has a healthy self-esteem, so she was like, “Boo, please.  I am fabulous!”  The girl persisted, I think hoping to get a rise out of my girl, and she never did.  I think this was a great opportunity to teach Briana about the things we place value on, and why we make the financial choices that we do.  It was a blessing.  And you know what?  In time, that particular young lady’s mom began to see the wisdom of shopping at thrift stores, and her daughter ended up wearing thrift store clothes.

This myth actually has things backwards.  You child will feel bad about themselves if you make them feel as though their worth is dependent on the cost of the clothes that they wear, and even worse, they will judge others by that same (false) standard.  If you are interested, James 2 says a lot about looking at the outside of a person.  We have tried to encourage our children to spend as little as possible on quality clothing.  Most of the clothes at thrift stores still look attractive and have a lot of wear left in them, that is why people donate them.  They would throw away something that is unusable, but if they have something that is nice and little used, they can’t bear to throw it away, so they donate it.  Then, people buy it, usually in support of an excellent non-profit organization.  If you haven’t checked out a thrift store lately, you should go take a look.  Ask around to find the best ones in your area.  Bring your child in on it.  Share with them the financial benefits.  I bet they will be proud of their thrift store clothing and their financially savvy mama!

3.  You child needs a cell phone and the latest version or they will be unsafe and not fit in.

Oh my soul!  The things that people do and say in the name of their child fitting in!  This is one of the more expensive ones, although not the most expensive.  Let me just say that I am not going to go over the fitting in thing again, but why is everything about that anyway?  I mean, do adults make decisions based on fitting in?  This kind of thinking is so backwards!

As to the phones, you child does not need them.  We all got along fine in school without cell phones.  Our children were not allowed to get cell phones until they went to college, and even then it was the cheap monthly re-fillable ones, and THEY had to pay for minutes.  Guess what?  They have often chosen to go without the minutes because they didn’t want to pay the $40 (or so) that was required to have the phone time.  If it’s not important enough to them, it’s not important to me.

Let me talk about safety for a moment.  We do require that children in our home who get a driver’s license must be able to pay for their own car insurance and pay for a cell phone.  When you are driving, and given a larger measure of personal freedom, we must be able to contact you at a moment’s notice and vice versa.  That being said, if our children are not old enough and responsible enough to handle a motor vehicle, they are not old enough or responsible enough (in our opinion) to be anywhere that would be dangerous enough to necessitate the possession of a cell phone.  They would not be left without another adult to make sure of their safety, so the cell phone becomes redundant.  Sure, anything could happen, but a cell phone won’t prevent most emergencies. Besides, I don’t want to begin to rely on the cell phone for security.  Of course, this is just our opinion.

Perhaps, you can rationalize their need for a phone, and even if there is a legitimate reason for it, do they really need the biggest and the best?  Do they need every app?  Wouldn’t a simple phone do the job.  I mean, if your child is in school, they might be more inclined to whip their phone out during class if they had something to show off and more apps to take their mind off the work at hand.

OK.  There are SO many more financial myths I could, but that would take forever!  Perhaps, I will save them for another day.  If you want to check out Liz’s blog post, here is a link:  Financial Myths About Having Younger Kids.  You can also check out her video that goes with it here- Financial Myths Collab video.

I also made a video to go with this topic, and Briana joined me 🙂  You can watch that right here…

Thanks for hanging out with us today.  What financial myths do you hear all the time that people believe about having children?  How do you respond?  I would love to hear about your experiences!

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6 thoughts on “3 Financial Myths About Having Older Children

  • January 15, 2017 at 10:52 am
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    I have a sixteen – slash that, seventeen year old who is the first one to speak up about shopping at the thrift store if she is looking for something. She and her father love treasure hunting (it’s what they call it). We as consumers have really lost track of the overwhelming industry of clothing. It used to be that most people had maybe 30 items in their closet (many of which were hand made), now we have over 100 items and are having to get larger houses and storage units to hold all of this excess… There is much to be said for children learning to reuse and recycle clothing.

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  • January 31, 2017 at 4:49 am
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    I like your point about the cell phones in particular. I got my first cell phone when I was in high school and in sports (2000), my parents liked me having it when I was on the sports bus or after school at practice. But like you said – if they;re with adults all the time, why does a little kid need one?!

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    • February 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm
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      Thanks! It’s just my observation. Some folks have children in situations where they are concerned, and a cell phone would be necessary. For the most part, though, it is not for my children.

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  • February 6, 2017 at 9:04 am
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    Great tips you have share here. I totally agree on the 3 points you highlighted in this post.

    I believe parent should teach children that material things (latest phone or latest game console) can only make them happy temporarily and that they should learn to find happiness from inside not from external things.

    Kids these days have too much peer pressure its important they learn from a young age that they don’t need to be pressured by their surroundings.

    Reply

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