Have you ever bought a brand new bottle of shampoo and then watched your child dump half of its contents on not only her head, but all over the bathtub? The same goes for toothpaste, generously smeared like finger paints across the bathroom mirror? Messiness aside, does your child have a habit of being wasteful? If so, there’s a solution. Rather than making these bathroom essentials off limits or repeatedly chiding your child, try the following:
First, try introducing your child to her first real purchasing choice with a budgeted income amount that’s enough to cover the shampoo. Then, let your child pick out and purchase her own brand of shampoo. It won’t take long for two positive outcomes; your child will wash their hair more efficiently by not using half the bottle in one bath time, and will learn the value of this everyday necessity by spending her own money to buy it. Next, you can add toothpaste to the budget and start to involve your child in other purchasing decisions. A nice incentive is that if you tell your child that if she makes her purchases under budget, she can keep the difference. This will teach your child a third lesson; that finding bargains and squirreling away the savings can fund nonessentials (toys, candy, etc.) later on.
If you found this helpful, check out our other financial literacy tips for a range of ages.