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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Lesson In How To Spend Money Or Save Money
Top-Quality Designer Kidswear at Full-Price or Bargain Priced Designer Kidswear at Half-Off?
Each of us grows up in a family that has inherited certain attitudes and values about money, earning money, spending money, and saving money based on our own family circumstances.
Depending on what type of job the breadwinner (husband/wife/both) had, and the take-home salary, the size of the family, any family health issues that were present, education costs…these were the issues that framed the financial attitudes within the family. My parents, as children and teenagers, and their parents (my grandparents) lived through the Depression years. Those years helped form their attitudes toward money both spending it and saving it.
America has changed drastically since the 1930’s. Attitudes toward money have changed as well. In each generation following the Great Depression, every adult as parent has tried to provide a better life for their children than they had. This attitude grew out of the lessons they learned from their experiences. Prosperity has created a new wealth. Families who once grew in the city, living in a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment where the children shared bedrooms and the one television set that provided the family entertainment, now have moved out to the suburbs, built a large home, and each kid has his/her own room with their own multi-level and multi-functional entertainment centers.
Americans are constantly being bombarded with advertisements to buy the latest most fashionable designer kidswear for their infants, toddlers, and preteens. Our teens fall right in step and purchase their own top-quality teen-kidswear based on the latest popular styles.
While surfing the web the other night, I was curious as to how designer kidswear was being marketed. One website noted that the parents clearly were making the decision to outfit their infant and toddler in the same stylish top quality designer wear that they themselves had on. So if the Calvin Klein brand was in vogue, then that was their choice.
The slogan was very different on another website. It was advertising the designer outfits because these are “the clothes they wanna wear” with a picture of a cute little toddler next to the slogan. My initial response was that that website’s clients were very hip and fashion-conscious to popular styles and trends of the designer infant and toddler wear of the day; and I wondered (to myself) which credit card they would use for their online purchase….the one from Sesame Street or Disney World.
So who holds the keys to the bank vault? With the prices of these designer outfits, as they are, one could not refer to them as bargain designer infant wear or bargain toddler kidswear. Don’t get me wrong… parents can spend their money any way they wish…they worked hard for it. And I encourage parents to dress their children in fashionable good looking kidswear. Children look smart when they dress smart.
Who is the chairperson for the family fashion? Who makes the decision to pay $52.95 for a Puma Navy Track Suit for the 12 month old baby boy or $76.95 for a size 4 girl’s Kenzo brand red Bermuda shorts with a graphic accent for their little girl? Who wants these top-quality designer outfits….the parent or the child? Even if money is not an issue, is there a need for any discussion about finances? Hopefully, the buyer is keenly aware of the message that is being sent to the recipient of these purchases.
Compare this to the parent that finds a website that offers the same top-quality designer infant and toddler kidswear or a similar popular style designer named kidswear at half the price, then your children receives a completely different message as a result of this purchase.
In either case, it may be a matter of a couple of weeks or a couple of months, and your child will have outgrown these top-quality designer outfits anyway. A message of the use of money has been transmitted, and will remain with your child for a lifetime. How do you spend money? How do you save money?
I am not challenging your right to spend your money….you can spend it any way you wish… as much as I am challenging you to be aware of the kind of message being sent to your child. What do you want to teach your child? When they are able to read, and face the barrage of the advertisements, commercials, and catalogs are they going to be able to buy EVERYTHING THEY WANT? Will the PRICE become an issue? Will you be able to weather the TANTRUM if you tell your child “NO”? What kind of relationship to money and its use do you want your child to have in their future financial decisions?
What kind of message are you going to provide them with when it comes to planning, saving, and investing for their college education? Are you going to ask them to be responsible and help pay for college when that day comes?
I think there is more to the choice between top-quality designer kidswear at full price and bargain priced designer kidswear at half-off than just the NAME on the label.
-by Robert Walsh
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