SG Budget Babe
Asked on 02 Dec 2019
My son spends so much money on clothes- brands such as off-white and Balenciaga. To me these brands are really not worth the steep price that he's paying for, how do i get my son to see this?
Hey there! Is he spending his own money, or is it your money? If it's the latter, I think you can control him. Limit his spending by giving him a debit card with a fixed amount every month. If it's the former, a little tricky but I think what works is to show him alternatives on what the $ spent on material goods can be used on for a greater purpose in future.
Do take the time to communicate with your son, understand his daily life and circle of friends!
SIMPLE: Cut his budget so that its just enough for his food and transportation.
If he wants more money to buy off-white and Balenciaga, make him work for it.
Who knows, he might be so driven by his desire to buy branded goods that he might turn out to be a great entrepreneur ;)
Is he using his own money to purchase them? If yes, it may be difficult to tell him not to buy them. If it's your money, then cut it off.
I'd try to instead show him that the money he could've saved buying a cheaper brand and compounding that difference in price over a few years can be very appealing. Like instead of buying a $1k shirt, he buys a $100, the $900 difference would be $4.2k in 20 years time. And he'll still have a shirt right now, and can afford 40 more in the future.
The first question I would like to ask is: Is he spending his own money or your money?
If he is using your money, then cut his allowance and ask him to take up part time job outside.
The point is not to punish your son, it is to let them know the hard work behind all these money. After exposing them to working, I hope it will help your son to grow up.
Hey, thanks for posting this question.
I’m 35. I’m not a parent thus tweak my suggestions accordingly.
I do have a team with me though.
Why not step into the perspective of your son instead of the instant solution of cutting his allowance (that’s the simplest, ain’t it)?
Because there’s also a possibility of him working to get $ to buy these stuff after we cut his allowance.
I rather cure the root cause.
Have a conversation.
Observe his circle of friends.
What does he do daily?
Reads easy but it takes patience.
Do reply to let the community know how it went.👍🏻
Cut his allowance to the bare minimum so that he can afford the needs (food & transport) and make him work for the wants (branded goods)
You should cut his allowance! That will force him to re think his concept of money. He needs to know that money is not going to drop from the sky when he starts working.
I would cut his allowance to the bare minimum. There's no need to explain to him, other than to let him know that he is obviously having too much allowance since he can still afford branded stuff after spending money on essential food and transport.
How old is your son? Buying those type of goods seems a bit amazing for a young kid. If he is old enough to choose luxury goods, he is old enough to earn money to support himself and fund his own purchases.
I will classify this as a problem on understanding values and having monetary goals.
First of all, we have to accept what you feel as a problem and not repel it. This is because different people have different needs and wants. Accordingly, we feel complete and satisfied in different ways. If we use your son as an example, he may feel happy on buying branded goods. If we reject his idea, it may force him to reject any subsequent ideas from you. Therefore, step 1 is always to accept the situation.
Next, understand the source of the problem. For instance, it may be due to stress at work, peer pressure, or successful marketing campaigns (especially online shopping).
Once we have identified the source of the problem, we will have to do our best to be in your son's position and to understand the reason for his actions.
Thereafter, find ways in an attempt to solve the problem. From my perspective, I feel that this is a problem of misaligned value of money and the need to have stronger monetary goals.
We can use third party channels, e.g. news, economy to let your son understand that money should not stop at just spending on branded goods. Instead, we should have bigger goals in life, e.g. to save up for bigger ticket items like cars, house, or even to create passive income for the future.
All in all, we will have to be open to understanding the situation from your son's point of view. From there, slowly find ways to help him build bigger goals and priorities in life. Once he has a new goal, he will realise that such expenditure are probably not worth it at all.
Here is everything about me and what I do best.
Reduce his budget, and ask a friend or relative to talk to him.
my own experience says that mother/father talks to kids are a bit less "worthy" than a trusted relative, or a trusted friend that the kid loves.
And most of the time, kids go for brandeds because of peer pressure. observe his friends and see if he is indeed trying to cope with peer pressure
Show him examples of people who do well and achieve much without those stuff.
Send the message that it is a good to have but its not a must have, a want, not a need.
Tell him that many rich are humble people and that he does not need to wear branded goods to show that he has money. It is ultimately, superficial.
I Guess we all have our own perspective and methods (sort of) , the key is to Ensure that he understand the behind the scenes of such big Brands.
In addition, it’s always worth while to spend some time with the less privileged and fortunate. You do not need to go far where ever you lived in SG, there are Hawker centres across the island. Have a meal and explain to him the hours time effort of our Hawkers and the cost.
At such a day and age where branded goods are viewed as tools defining one's status among millenials and Gen-Zs, it would be tough to stop him from such purchases completely especially if he is funding them through his own means.
Should he be using your money, of course like most suggestions, make him work for what he wants. Alternatively, you may also suggest to him to have such goods rented instead of having them bought. Companies like Style Theory have a business model where they have their apparels rented to consumers for a monthly fee. Might help him to stop purchasing these expensive goods on impulse as well.
Okay first thing first- is this from the allowance you're providing him or his own money that he earns? If it's the former, cut his allowance, if it's the latter, I don't think you can reasonably stop him but you can sit down with him, discuss your concerns and see if he's saving every month a decent amount for rainy days. Emphasise that you're not stopping him, but he needs to balance between savings/daily expenses and getting these wants.
Is he spending his own money or yours? If yours, cut off the allowance. If his own, there's little you can do except maybe to sit down and talk to him, try to get him to understand the importance of some prudence..
If he is using his own money, then it may be difficult to stop him because he values these branded goods and finds joy in owning them. Instead of saying his brands are not worth the price which may make him feel that you dont understand or not wish to speak to you anymore about money matters, maybe you can have an open conversation regarding what his future financial goals are - owning his first home, first car, starting his invstment journey. Let him see the value in others and maybe his priorities will shift gradually. :)
If he is using your money, then I believe you already know what to do:)
Have a good talk with him and try to expose him to more personal finance articles/savings management.
Unless the amount you give him is really a lot, I would view cutting allowance/budget as a last resort as it doesn't teach him how to effectively manage his money - when he earns his own money he may still have such spending habits.
If your son is paying using his own money, then honestly I think there's nothing much you can do. But if he's using your money, then you will need to cut it off.
Perhaps bringing him to do volunteering work together might let him see the reality of the world that branded stuff doesn't bring true happiness but only short term?
If your son has earned his own keep and is spending his own savings or earned money on these items, then what I feel is important is for him to understand the concept of delayed gratification. Money not spent on such items can grow to a point where he can effectively get his next Balenciaga for 'free' next time from the dividends/returns. I'm sure if you were to share with him that there's a way to get his next off-white for 'free' just by setting a part of his money aside, he might listen.
However, if he is spending it out of your allowance, then clearly he is not treasuring how hard it is for you to earn the money. Instead of outright cutting his allowance (which might lead to arguements and stuff) I'd reduce his receiving allowance by taking a portion of it and investing it for him instead, explaining to him that I'm 'helping' him get free Balenciaga in the future and need to set aside something now for it to occur. Effectively I'm teaching him delayed gratification as well. So for example, if he gets $1K/mth from me, I'd take away $300/mth and show him what I'm doing with it/where I'm deploying it.
You can always transfer ownership of the assets you have invest for him, to him, when he is of age. Hopefully this will also motivate him to understand why you are doing this.