Stopping a spendaholic

I always thought that I was doing a good job in teaching my children about money. They have to earn spending money through chores or learning and whenever we go on holiday or for a trip out they are given a set amount of money to spend and when it is gone it is gone.

Elizabeth has always enjoyed spending money yet Alison was a lot less reserved and tended to spend a little and save a lot. Having spent the whole summer basically on holiday it feels as though it has been a constant battle against gift and souvenir shops. I have come to the realisation that I need to show more restraint and not give them any money to spend in these places, after all they only ever buy rubbish that ends up in the bin a few weeks later.

I decided that in future we will not visit the gift shops at all if we can help it. They need to learn that money is to be used for more important things and if we can find something big that they want they can save their money for that. With this in mind I have given them both a money box to save into. We have been very successful doing this in the past when Elizabeth got to spend all her hard earned money so hopefully it will be successful this time round.

Ten years ago I was in a lot of debt and it took me a long time to crawl my way out of it so I know don’t have any debts at all. I believe that credit is far to easy to come by and a combination of credit cards, loans and catalogues soon had me paying out more than I could afford each month. I have never had any savings and leaving home was a huge financial shock. Mind you earning a decent amount of money at a young age also had its drawbacks as I had a lot of disposable income and that started off my spending habit.

I want to stop my kids falling into this trap but I also want to give them a little nest egg  to help them on their way to adulthood. My kids were lucky as they were born when the government was handing out free money for the childrens trust funds. We have also continued to pay £10 a month into each of these. Its not much but at eighteen I don’t want them to be handed a huge sum of money and really would prefer to keep it from them until they were twenty one. I know at eighteen any money I had would not have been used sensibly.

As well as the trust funds we have also set both children up with a savings account that we pay their child benefit into. We then use this money for school uniform, new clothes, coats, school trips and anything else that they need.

After our holiday and with other adventures looming I have set myself a challenge. I am going to lead by example and I am therefore putting all unnecessary spending on hold. I will be sending hubby to the shops with a list instead of going myself (I always buy extra stuff) and I have created a list of meals that we can make based on what is in our freezer. Hopefully we will only need to buy fruit, vegetables, milk and bread in the coming weeks.

I will also not go into a shop when I don’t need anything. I am awful at browsing shops and I always end up picking something up that we don’t need. I think this is somewhere that I need to lead by example and show the kids that you don’t need to spend money for the sake of it, problem is can I change a habit of a lifetime?Just how can I stop myself from spending?