I know this is time consuming.
You are both the teacher and the student in this whole process.
Each of these steps leads up and out of this hole we find ourselves in as families and women in lives which are just too full of “STUFF”!
Here’s what you can do with your children:
Each child rewrites their list in order of those three criteria: Need it, Nice to have, and New but , not needed. (You can also included all the items that are still usable in terms of items on that infamous school supply list that kids receive, that still have use in them from last year).
No one knows your kids better than you do, so if it is really important for you son to have some cool new shoes (that are within your budget) make that the one thing he gets that will make him feel cool. If you have a little daughter who needs a new backpack or special cartoon lunch bag and that will be her new item for the year.
Set aside the time and the day to take each child shopping by themselves if at all possible and let them make the decisions.
I have found that when a teen is old enough, go get the cash and let them do the shopping. Do not backslide for their poor decisions, this is the foundation of critical thinking, money management and discernment and when a child reaches the “age of accountability”.
Praise, Praise, Praise all those great decisions and money management!
It works! We have two grown children who learned this lesson very early in life and are successful adults and continue the process!
As money becomes available in your budget, revisit those lists from time to time and ask your child if they still want the item or maybe you could pool all that money and do something as a family.
Here again you are teaching how real life works and how to make decisions around stuff and money.
Keep encouraging and praising.
How’s life feeling now?
If it seems brighter, less stressful……it is….you are climbing up and out…..Keep it up!