Host: What do I do when my children ask for expensive things?
Janet Bodnar: When we have kids ask for expensive things, you need to say no. They really do need to hear you say no. A part of what they need to learn about money is the idea of setting limits and making choices that they are never going to be able to have everything they want as soon as they want it. So, they are going to have to make some decisions about what they want to spend their money on and when. It really helps to hear their parents say no. But you do not just say, "No you cannot have this.
" You say no with a reason and the reason maybe very simple. "No, we cannot afford that. We are spending money on other things right now," or "We are saving money for a vacation," or "We are spending money to send you through private school. So, right now that new video game system does not fit into our budget," or it could be, "No, we do not think you need a new video game system. If you will like to purchase it with your own money, that would be okay, but we are not going to do that right now because it just does not fit into our budget and we do not think we need it right now or that you need it right now," or, "No, we are not going to get the super humongous 100 inch a flat screen, a TV just like your friend has because we think that we just do not need that in our household. It is not something that we put a lot of priority on. We have other priorities right now.
"They need to know what your priorities are. So, as long as you are telling them no, but with a reason, again, parents, you have power, you can make any rule stick that you want and you can make no stick if you are very serious. Now, the kids are going to push on this and they are going to keep coming back, coming back asking you again and again, but again, if you say no, if you are firm and you give them a good reason for it, they are going to accept it.