Money is more fun to spend than to think about. But if you are a good money manager, you can make money go further. If you stop and think before you spend money today, you may have more to spend tomorrow.
Do you buy things because you need them? There is a difference between spending for things you want and for things you need. What would happen if you waited to buy an item you wanted now? What if you waited for a month? A year?
Try for one day to keep track of everything you buy. What about the things you use that cost money? Include these things on your list, too. Are you spending money needlessly? Are you getting top value for your money?
Spending Diary ------------------------------ Date_____________ Item Amount _______________________ ______ _______________________ ______ _______________________ ______ _______________________ ______ _______________________ ______ _______________________ ______
Have you ever looked at the same thing in several stores when you shopped? Before you spend money, think about your purchase. Is it something you need now?
Make a list of the features you want in the item you plan to purchase, including price. Then number them in order of priority. Is price your first priority? If you must spend only what you have now, it might have to be first.
Read sale ads and begin comparison shopping. List the features of your shopping selections. Remember to keep within your budget.
Comparison shop until you feel you can make a wise purchase. Go back to your priority list of features and decide what is best to buy.
Now you will be able to make the best purchase for your money. Your mom or dad can help you make your decision. Magazines like Zillions (Consumer Reports for Kids) or Consumer Reports have lots of comparison shopping stories.
Comparison shop for a game to play at your next birthday party. Examples of choices: Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game of Life, Yahtzee or Pictionary. (Trade names are used as examples only. They are not intended as product endorsements.)
Children, like adults, usually have many opportunities for spending money. The trick, of course, is to spend money wisely on the goods and services that will help them reach their goals. Children need experiences that will teach them consumer skills such as how to shop, what features to look for, how to get information on a product, how to complain and how to make decisions about what to buy and when to buy it.
Some guides for helping children spend their money are given below. You may think of others that are appropriate for your family and the other children with whom you interact.
The North Dakota Consumer Survival Manual is available from the Attorney General's office. This brochure describes the duties of the Consumer Protection Division and lists common scams. A copy of the brochure is available by writing:
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division
Office of Attorney General
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0040
Call toll-free in North Dakota 1-800-472-2600 or 328-3404 in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
For more information, the following publications are available from your county office of the NDSU Extension Service:
HE-260, "Credit-Using It Wisely"
Money in Our Children's Hands, HE-247
Family Records: What to Keep, Where and For How Long, HE-445
Inventory of Important Family Records, HE-446
What To Look For In A Financial Professional, HE-451
Catalog Shopping: Is It For You?, HE-455
Brought to you by the NDSU Extension Service and funded by the North Dakota Attorney General's Office.
See your county extension agent for more money management information and other family economics programs.
NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Sharon D. Anderson, Director, Fargo, North Dakota. Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. We offer our programs and facilities to all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, Vietnam era veterans status, or sexual orientation; and are an equal opportunity employer.
This publication will be made available in alternative format to people with disabilities upon request (701) 231-7881.
North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service