Brand Names Vs. Your Budget

HOW CAN WE AVOID THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING "BRAND-NAME BLUES?"

Clothing items with certain brands or labels seem to promise a more exciting, fun life. Children can easily feel deprived if they don't have things they see in the media or things they think their friends will have. Consider these tips when back-to-school shopping.

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>Approach children with choices appropriate to their age and understanding. For example, brand name awareness is especially prevalent when buying shoes. With preschool children you can say, "Here are two great pairs of shoes. Which pair do you want?" With elementary school children you can set an amount of money and say, "Let's go to the store and choose a pair in this range." For teens you might say, "I'm willing to spend "x" amount for shoes. If you want something more than that, you will need to pay the difference." Help children distinguish between wants and needs. If there is something they want that you don't approve of, be truthful. Instead of saying "I can't afford that," say "I'm not willing to spend my money that way." Talk about quality versus price. To help teach this, have children do comparison shopping for something they don't care about, such as canned vegetables. Show them that a store brand, with equal nutrition and value, costs less than a name brand. Compare this to other things they care about, where the brand name increases the price without necessarily increasing the quality.

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Give older children a clothing allowance. Talk with them about planning and projecting their needs and then let them make their choices. Resist your urge to rescue them from poor choices. Talk about what happened and what might work better next time. Require that they have the money saved or have done the required work before they can get the desired item, and stick with your decision. Children need to learn that hassling you will not get them what they want. This will help them learn patience in working for things they want. As parents, be aware of the messages you may be sending about materialism through your own behavior. Children learn values by watching what parents do more than what they say. Point out examples of people around you and in the news who value service and people over materialism.

By Tom Lee, Utah State University Extension Family and Human Development Specialist. (http://extension.usu.edu/)

August 16, 20040 found this helpful

Going off my own experience as a child at school with no brand name items and the hassle I got from the other kids, I would suggest this.

Set aside some money (you decide the amount) for ONE branded item for each child. They get to chose whether it's trainers, a coat, rucksack or whatever. Just as long as they are happy with the item.

I would've killed for this sort of opportunity as a kid, but we were wearing cast offs from other kids who didn't have much either.

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August 18, 20040 found this helpful

I suggest you determine how much the unbranded item-say generic jeans- would cost. Contibute that amount to toward the purchase of the brand name and let your child use his/her own money to pay the difference. S/he may decide the brand isn/t so important when its her own money she is spending! Or, you would be surprised what you can find at resale and thrift stores, in upscale neighborhoods especially. No one needs to know where the XXXJeans came from!

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August 20, 20040 found this helpful

Outlet stores are a great place to get some really good bargains. I have bought the same items in the recent catalogs for over half of the price! Or even stores like Gabriel Bros. you can get good name brand stuff for really cheap.

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September 5, 20050 found this helpful

My kids have been raised to be mindful of our budget. We like to travel, and they know that in order to have the fun of going somewhere, they have to sacrifice in other areas. My son came up with a great idea. He always wears hoodies to school during the year, so he realized that if he bought a cheaper "no name" t-shirt to wear under it no one would be the wiser. He could spend more money on a brand name hoodie and have several for the week. On the other hand, he finds it very exciting to have hoodies with his favorite skateboarders on it that he wants to go places with me before school so he can wear his "good" clothes!

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October 12, 20050 found this helpful

Why is brand name clothing so much more expensive than generic?

The quality, i think, isn't better because brand name clothes rip easily, and are thin.

so why do people pay more for brand name clothing when its not of the best quality?

it just has the words "Abercrombie" or "American Eagle" written on it.

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