Unfortunately, by the end of the month, we discover that we did not stick to our budget. One day, my husband and I decided to stop this. So after few months of thinking and discussions (believe me it was not that easy) we came out with some tips that worked out for us. They helped us meet our budget without feeling guilty about saying No to our kids.
Distract and delay
It works for kids under 6. If our little one is jumping up and down for something she wants at the store, we try to focus her attention on something else. She might be complaining but she will soon forget her request.
Let them choose
It works for 6 and up. When you go to the store with your 9 year old, tell him in advance that he can choose one item, not more. This item has to be needed. You can let him choose his cereals, the type of bread for his sandwich. That way he feels involved in the shopping process.
It works for 4 and up. We started one for our son as early as 4 years old. When our son needed a snack, a juice, we suggested that he uses his own money. So he says “I don’t need this item”. He did not want to use his own money. It made him learn the value of money. It reduced his endless lists of needs.
When we go to the swimming lessons or hockey games, we always prepare a small lunch bag (nothing fancy: juice, some cookies…). It is certainly less expensive than the snacks in the vending machines and healthier. Don’t worry, the kids will be still happy.