Consumer Skills Your Tween Should Know

Teach your tween to master consumer skills, here's how

Teach your tween money management skills when shopping for back to school clothes.
Teach your tween to shop for the best deal. Stockxpert

If your tween has started to earn an allowance, or is making money as a mother's helper or pet sitter, then it's time to teach your tween to how to be a smart consumer. Money skills are not the same as spending skills, so be sure your child knows money basics, such as the difference between saving and spending, and consumer skills, such as how to shop for prices and be savvy about consumer peer pressure.

The tips below should help you get started. 

Consumer Skills Every Tween Should Know

Shop for Deals: The next time your tween is looking to buy something take the time to comparison shop. If your child is eager to purchase a new dress for the school dance, visit several stores and compare the dresses that she's interested in. Are any of them on sale? Is the quality of the clothing comparable, or does one item appear cheaper in quality than the others? Be sure your tween understands that similar items may cost much less at one store than another. Also, point out to your child that discount stores often stock the same items as more expensive boutiques. Purchasing out of season is another smart way to save money when shopping. 

Be Aware of Manipulation: Consumers are often manipulated to purchase or desire certain items. Point out that when a new movie comes out, the stores are almost immediately flooded with tie-ins to the movie.

The next time you go shopping try to find items that tie in to pop culture, such as items that promote a television show or a singer. Ask your tween to decide if these items are really better than similar items that are available. Are they more expensive?

Make a Budget: If your tween knows how to make a budget it will be easier for him to save and perhaps even less likely for him to blow all of his money in one place.

Budgets can also help you learn how to save up for something special, which may be a difficult concept for your tween to understand.

Learn from Lessons: Everyone makes consumer mistakes. Sometimes we buy too many things we don't need, other times we pay too much for an item we think we want, and then decide we don't want. Your tween will make purchasing mistakes from time to time. Just be sure he learns from his mistakes, so that he's less likely to make them again. He may purchase something on impulse, only to have it marked down the next week. Or, he may decide to buy an expensive pair of sneakers only to find out they are no longer in style. Mistakes will happen, so help your child learn the life lessons that come with them.

Is it OK to Complain? Your tween should know that when he makes a purchase that doesn't live up to its promise it might be necessary to make a complaint. Ask your child what he would do if he ordered a hamburger and fries but only received the hamburger. How would he politely request that he receive what he paid for?

What would he do if he purchased a toy that was broken or didn't work. What should he do then? Help your child know that sometimes consumers have to speak up. 


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