5 dumb ways to spend money on your kids

1

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

Which bank should I choose?

Get personalized bank recommendations in 3 easy steps.

Admit it, parents — you all do it: give in to your kids when they beg you to spent money.

Whether it’s buying a candy bar at the checkout counter or sending a well-timed check to cover the wedding caterer, the impulse to spend to make children happy is a natural reaction, says Chicago-based Certified Financial Planner professional Leisa Brown Aiken.

“Parents want their kids to be happy,” Aiken says. “And they’re really good at making you feel like if they don’t get it, they’re going to be unhappy and you’re a terrible parent.”

But giving in to those impulses can have serious financial consequences, says Joan Koonce, a professor and financial planning specialist at the University of Georgia.

“Parents are trying to provide (kids) with these things, and sometimes it’s a bad situation because they really can’t afford it,” she says.

Worse, it creates a pattern with ever higher stakes as children get older. “When they leave their parents’ household for the first time, many of them end up in a lot of debt,” Koonce says.

Here are some dumb financial moves that children commonly demand and how to push back.

RATE SEARCH: Set a good example for your kids. Shop for a savings account today.