Advice Column, Lifestyle, Money, Parenting

Turn your kids into bargain hunters not impulse buyers

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  • Category Advice Column, Lifestyle, Money, Parenting

According to a study by Invesp, 84% of shoppers admitted to making impulse purchases when shopping – with 8 out of 10 impulse buys being made in store as opposed to online. The likelihood of making an impulse buy is sure to increase when shopping with your children, as they spot items they are interested in throughout the store. Is giving in to these requests teaching your children negative spending and saving habits? 

African retail giant, Game’s 2021 price perception survey found that over 80% of shoppers were prioritising bargain hunting more so now than they did a year ago – largely due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have seen a massive shift in the shopping and spending behaviours of our customers. There is an increased appetite for specials and deals across all our categories – especially essentials like groceries,” explains Katherine Madley, Vice President of Marketing at Game. 

With the consumer budget under more strain than ever before, responsible spending saving habits are increasingly important. Curbing impulse buying habits is an easy and effective way to ensure you are sticking to your monthly budget and spending within your means. As a responsible retailer, Game has looked into ways that parents can instil a culture of healthy habits for their children in this regard – whether shopping in-store or online.  

Give Kids Responsibility  

Allow children to take responsibility when going shopping, whether it is to ensure you are getting all the items on the list or making sure you do not exceed your shopping budget for the day. This will give them practical experience in managing a budget, and ensure they are focused on planned purchases rather than impulse purchases.  

Do Your Research  

Teaching your children to shop around for the best deal, rather than buying on impulse, is an incredibly important lesson for them to learn. Game’s survey found that while 64% of consumers compare prices online when bargain hunting, a larger percentage (55%) are using printed leaflets than those carrying out Google searches.  

The survey also showed that price comparison programmes are important, with 75% of respondents saying they see the value in comparing prices to receive 10% back on the difference, with Game’s Price Beat Promise, for example.  

Define Wants and Needs  

When children spot items they want in store, it may be an opportune time to talk to them about the difference between wants and needs. Establishing how much they’d need to save for their wants can make it a rewarding experience when they are able to make the purchase.  

Game’s survey showed the importance of essential items in today’s economy, with consumers looking to save predominantly on groceries, baby products and furniture, where household income was less than R2000.  Interestingly, groceries remained a key driver for those with household incomes between R10 000 and R20 000.    

Save Your Savings  

Only 25% of shoppers are putting retail-related savings into a savings account, while the majority are spending these on extra items they need for their homes – no matter their monthly household income.  Encouraging your children to save these amounts, no matter how small, can build healthy saving habits and help them to reach their financial goals rather than giving into impulse purchasing for immediate gratification.  

Establish Ground Rules 

Establishing ground rules upfront with your children before going shopping can curb impulse buying by setting clear boundaries. Game is assisting its customers to teach children and teenagers the pitfalls of impulse buying, and has created a downloadable Shopping Agreement that children and their parents can sign that looks to promote responsible shopping and spending habits. Game has also partnered with Nicolette Mashile, author of Coco the Money Bunny – a children’s book that looks to teach children about money – as part of its Simply Save campaign.   

“An important part of teaching children about money and the best ways to make it work for them, is teaching them about how best to spend and save their money,” says Mashile. “This agreement is aimed at setting clear boundaries and expectations around shopping trips and ensuring that parents and their children are clear on the rules around spending and saving. This is a way to teach these lessons through positive reinforcement.” 

“In light of Savings Month, and as a responsible retailer, Game is focused on assisting our customers in ensuring they are shopping smart, spending responsibly and saving as much as they can,” concludes Madley.  

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