Could you go a month without doing this for your kids?

Our favourite blog from last week's iBlog Friday has been chosen! Zanni Louise is the winner with her post at My Little Sunshine House. Congrats Zanni! The CD is in the mail.

Outside the variety shop the other day, my three-year-old asked if we could buy something for her craft table. It wasn’t an unusual request. In fact, we buy something for her craft table from every variety shop we go to. It’s crafty. It’s $2. It’s harmless.

But the $2 crafty goodness adds up.

And it’s not the cost.

It’s the fact that every time we go somewhere, my daughter expects me to buy her something. It is not that she is spoilt, or greedy, but basic behavioural science will tell you that she has learned that if she asks, I will buy.

And if I say no, she’s clever enough to ask for something for her craft table, because crafty stuff is wholesome, and serves a function.

On Sunday I found myself saying ‘yes’ to a ridiculous barbie $12 mermaid thing. It was a ‘handmade’ barbie, but it was still a barbie, and it was still $12. She didn’t need it, but I bought it for her.

Although I don’t want to indulge her in toys and other material goodies, I have in the back of my head this logic: She sees me buy useless things for myself, so why should I have double standards for her?

I never make huge purchases, but I do buy a lot; bits here and there, from Vinnie’s, or $20 at the variety store. I buy second-hand clothes from the boot market. I find myself pressing confirm in paypal more times than is healthy, because I don’t even have the hassle of getting out of my chair to get my credit card.


Because I don’t buy expensive things, it feels like it’s OK. But it does add up, and every time I buy something I don’t need, I am teaching my daughter a lesson in material accumulation.

It’s not a huge deal, but I am suddenly conscious of it, and I wondered if I can go frugal for one month. A friend did it recently, and she survived. I’m sure I can too. The rule is, I can’t buy anything that is not an essential food or household item during the month of June.

Maybe it’s a bit like dieting – once you start eating less, you feel like eating less and less. Will this be the frugal me, at the end of June, who can walk out of a thrift shop empty handed?

I better go and make those last online purchases before June sets in. Join me for Frugal June if you like, and let me know how you go.

Do you feel like you shop unnecessarily? How do you teach your kids about material possessions?

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