Mommy Spending Habits

Have you ever thought about what type of “Mommy Spender” you are?  I originally wrote about this a few years back, but as my kids get older I my budget gets tighter, I feel like I am getting worse and worse!  Keep reading to understand more!

When it comes to your child/ren, which category do you fall into?

    1. I buy them food, clothes and a toy or two a few times a year. They don’t need anything else.
    2. When my kids get out and earn money, they can buy the “extras”
    3. I struggle at times. But I try to give my kid/s something special every chance I get
    4. Guilty. I overspend on my kid/s…. They are only kids for a short time, why not?

I admit that I am the GUILTY Overspending mom. My living room on Christmas morning looks like Santa left all of the neighborhood kids gifts here, not just my kids. For their birthdays, I go overboard with hosting a party, picking a theme, matching décor, favors, cake, chocolates, games and more to the theme. My children do not get toys whenever we go out, but I am usually picking up something for them, such as a new pair of sneakers because their feet are always growing too fast or a box of animal crackers so they can snack while we shop. When my daughter comes home with her 99 average report card, she gets to pick out what she wants to have for dinner, and if that includes a dinner out, we go out. My husband and I have parents and relatives that are always treating my children to something, so my kids do have a lot of toys and clothes.

I don’t think there is any right or wrong way to spend on your children; it is as personal as how you discipline or reward them. I would not take my children for a weekend to Sesame Place or Disney if the bills were not paid, but I also don’t put every last penny into the future to save or invest when we could be enjoying the NOW more.

I feel childhood is too short and my kids deserve to enjoy it…  We are living in a really poor economy, and everyone is struggling, my family included.  But why should my little kids know that we live in a bad economy?  They have the rest of their lives to deal with adult issues, why now too? I am also lucky that my children are good at sharing, polite and well-behaved. So although they are certainly “spoiled”, I wouldn’t consider them “spoiled rotten”.

My husband is home on disability, but for years and years, he worked hours and hours of overtime, I work as a Behavior Coach from home and blog and freelance write as well. We also have a small party and crafting business that we work occasionally. We both work basically round the clock to ensure that my children don’t do without… and then some.  The only negative to this is that the flip side is TIME…  some weeks, we work so hard, we don’t have much time to spend playing and reading as much as I would like. We try to make up for it on weekends and any chance we get… BUT, I don’t blame it on spending for my kids.  We probably would be working just as hard even if we didn’t spend so much on our kids… just spending it elsewhere.

I always shake my head in disbelief when I hear about a mom that will ONLY take her kids to see a movie or to a show or buy a specific toy if she gets the tickets or toy for free (either as a gift or as a prize), or unless there is a serious sale going on. Don’t misunderstand me, I use coupons and shop sales as much as possible, why not?  And yes, I have to limit myself many times, and I have to prioritize.  But whenever we have “extra”, it goes to our children. I wish I could save more for a rainy day, but life is too short, and I want to enjoy my kids while we can.

I’m also learning as I get older that everyone’s priorities and values are different.  Three years ago we moved to the suburbs from the city.  The cost of living is astronomical on Long Island, but the people also spend differently.  We used to spend money on tuition, where we now spend it on taxes (mainly education, so in the end it works out to be the same).  Tuition always went up every year, and although I hated it, I had no choice to spend the money or pull my kids out of private school.  So when taxes go up, I still hate it, but I accept it because it is for my children’s education.  I find it funny how parents don’t like to see their taxes go up every year, but will drop thousands on a trip to Disneyworld or a week on an island.  To each his own I guess.  I’m just thankful that right now I don’t have anyone in college!  I still don’t know how I am going to do that with four!

What type of “Mommy Spender” are you?



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