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Top 5 Luxuries Kids Can Live Without

Updated on December 17, 2009

If your budget has become tighter lately, cutting unnecessary expenses can give you greater piece of mind. While these cuts may come from many places, reallocating your budget can be a great time to consider some luxuries your kids can do without. Teaching your kids about budgeting and managing money can be a very useful lesson and can help you out as well. Here are a few items you could consider nixing from your kids’ day to day lives.

1. Excess sweets

The price of sweets can really add up. Snickers bars snatched at the checkout or ice cream eaten several days in a row can not only stress your budget but also contribute to ill health in your children during their childhood and into adulthood. While sweets are certainly a tasty treat and should not be prohibited entirely, try to minimize them or provide alternative healthier snacks. Also limit your kids’ intake of specialized drinks, such as icees, milkshakes, or specialty coffee.

2. Movies

Going to the movie theatre can cost $8-10 per ticket. For that same money, your kids could have a month’s subscription to Netflix, which would let them have unlimited movies each month. So instead of going to the theatre, encourage your kids to rent movies at home or use a service like Netflix. This will save you money and give your kids more movies. Having kids stay home with their friends to watch movies will also give you more supervision over their activities.

3. iPods, Blackberries, Cell Phones

Contrary to popular belief, kids can survive without a PDA such as an iPhone or Blackberry. While these devices have become increasingly popular and even necessary in the business world, for kids they are strictly entertainment and can make your kids susceptible to internet predators or inappropriate correspondence with others. Give cell phones only to kids old enough to be unsupervised; limit kids’ cell phone minutes and hold them accountable for exceeding those minutes.

4. Personal televisions

Having personal televisions in their rooms is something that is not necessary for your kids, especially if they each have one. One family television and one television for kids to share is plenty of entertainment. Kids having separate televisions encourage isolationism as well. Encourage your kids to watch television with you and with each other. Better yet, encourage board games or reading instead.

5. Trendy clothing

Clothing costs from many manufacturers can be very high. Consider purchasing lower cost items for your kids. Invest in some key pieces of clothing that kids will get the most use out of—coats, shoes, and basics—and leave the $60 T-shirt at the store.

Image Credit: jolante, Flickr

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