Do We Deny Our Daughter a New Backpack So We Can Save For Retirement?

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” so goes the holiday tune applied to back-to-school shopping for summer-vacation-weary parents.

So, our daughter wants a new backpack. She does not need a new backpack, she has several in good condition which are not overly childish in design (although I have several pairs of black shoes and yet one more pair does not seem excessive… but I digress…).

We are always trying to teach our daughter good financial habits, and one of them is to recognize the difference between wants and needs – which tend to get mixed together and confused these days, especially among pre-teens.

The other lesson we try to teach our daughter is to save towards your goals. One of our goals is retirement (not so much me – because I intend to work until I drop – but I realize not everyone feels this way, hence the uptick in my business… there I go digressing again…).

So, if we are to practice what we preach, we should stay on course and save towards our retirement and only buy what we truly need.

BUT are we being selfish? (Cue crime scene music, “dum dum DUMMMMM.”)

I mean, would it destroy our financial plan to get her the darn $20 backback? No, of course not. And we only have one child, surely we could swing it (well, at least I think we can, but the rest of the school supply list is rather long. What’s up with needing baby wipes and hand sanitizer? What happened to the days of needing some paper and a #2 pencil?).

But in the big picture, we’d rather set a good example of committing to our values and goals. How else can we do that unless we do that?

Maybe I’ll bring out the fabric paint and let her have a go at one of the older backpacks. She can flex her creative muscles, show off her masterpiece daily, and save (us) $20. This is all good, right?

Photos courtesy of ClipArt.

About Amy Jo Lauber

I help people who are overwhelmed take control & make good financial decisions with confidence and experience peace and abundance. Are you ready to say goodbye to working hard but not having anything to show for it? Go to "Let's Talk" tab to schedule your complimentary initial consultation and take the first step on the path to financial empowerment.
This entry was posted in Budgeting, Money in relationships, Personal Finance with a twist, Psychology of Money. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do We Deny Our Daughter a New Backpack So We Can Save For Retirement?

  1. Pat H says:

    I agree…use one of the existing back packs if it’s in good condition. Let her decorate it if she wants to. If she knows has to live with the “decorating” for the whole year, she’ll decorate accordingly. 🙂 As my kids got older, they stopped wanting a new back pack every year because the old one was perfectly good. When they were younger, they used to look very battered by the end of the school year, but as they got older and had canvas bags, they lasted longer. If you feel like you need to compensate some way, maybe put the $20 you’re saving into your family vacation fund jar.

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