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Financial Lessons You May Have Missed This Black Friday
Cynics argue that Black Friday doesn’t teach your kids any life-long lessons they need to learn. Described by sceptics as a “capitalist consumption machine” that encourages consumers to spend till they drop- even if they are getting a steal on credit- is just one of the numerous shortcomings of the entire event. But what if we told you that you can take all the bad from this event and turn it to a lifetime of positive financial lessons for your kids?
Black Friday is the biggest man-made discount event of the year. Dare we say, it might just be better than Christmas shopping. Falling on 24 November this year, many had their wallets and shopping lists at the ready for the shopping trip of their lives. Happening over a minimum period of 24 hours depending on each retailer, one would view the event as a coming together of not-so-smart consumers spending money they do not have on things they do not need in record time. It isn’t the best example to set for kids due the emphasis on consumerism and irresponsible spending habits. But what have we learned from this year’s Black Friday extravaganza that we can take away with us? Here are the three major lessons that you might have missed in your rush to catch Black Friday deals.
Budget in advance. Black Friday just happened for the third year running this year. So, it is safe to say that it is going to happen again in 2018. Budgeting a whole year in advance is a great way to get your kids involved in the event. Including them in the process of budgeting by saving R200 a month for twelve-months in preparation for the event can teach them the benefits of delayed gratification. A budget also encourages kids to create a list of the essentials that they could not get during the year at a cheaper price.
Saving. Having a budget is one thing, but saving 20% of that budget after buying everything on your list of essentials will give your kids the zeal needed to continue the tradition into the following year. Getting them to donate that 20% they didn’t get to spend will be a bonus for them too. Having the foresight and practice to save 10% of your budget here and there is a nice way to get them to see that there is a reward for going the extra mile of finding the best deal possible by comparing prices.
Responsible spending. There is an enormous variety of products available on Black Friday. Retailers use the discount angle to get consumers through their doors and sales up. This makes the “logical consumer” within us disappear for at least 24-hours, only to re-appear when there is no money left to spend or are in severe debt due to overspending. This event just shows us as well as our kids what not to do in the event we can’t afford to go on a shopping spree. Its shows how easy it is to land into debt and serves as an example of how to avoid these traps for your kids too.
The biggest discount event on the planet is also the best way to teach your kids healthy spending habits as well as an alternative attitude towards money. Instead of campaigning for this one day to grind to a halt, use its downfalls as an incentive to teach your kids the financial lessons you never learned and help your kids lead a money savvy life.
By: Kgopotso Kgwedi