AOA 035: How to Turn Your Kids into Smarter Shoppers – With Consumer Expert Guest Trae Bodge

“Shopping can be very, very instructive for kids. If you don’t show kids how to transact, they don’t understand what […] acquiring goods really means.”

— Trae Bodge

You’ve taught your child to save and share … but how about to spend smart?

Trae Bodge can help you tackle this important step in any money-smart journey! An accomplished lifestyle journalist and television commentator, Trae specializes in smart shopping, personal finance, parenting, and retail. She has appeared on television hundreds of times, including NBC Nightly News with Lester HoltInside Edition, and CNBC, and her writing and expert commentary have been featured in Newsweek, Woman’s Day, and Forbes, among many others.

During our discussion, Trae and I run the gamut of smart shopping topics by chatting about introducing a child to a debit card, approaching the costs of kids’ eating out, encouraging thrift shopping, and alerting children to the dangers of frictionless purchases. We also take a notable side step into the allowance and chore debate (Yes, it still rages on!), and Trae offers a noteworthy alternative to the Share jar. All in all, our conversation underscores the importance of developing smart shopping habits as a prerequisite to becoming money-comfortable.

Links (From the Show)

Show Notes (Find what’s most interesting to you!)

  • What being a “smart shopping expert” entails [2:25]
  • Trae’s teaching her daughter to be money-comfortable from an early age [3:50]
  • “Because I said so” as an inadequate reason for why a child can’t have something she wants [5:07]
  • Trae discusses the benefits of giving her daughter a debit card. [5:56]
  • Rather than use a Share jar, Trae and her husband volunteer with their daughter. [8:32]
  • An explanation of Trae’s term “the act of shopping” [9:11]
  • Trae explains the steps she took to introduce her daughter to shopping [10:25]
  • Trae’s thoughts on allowance and chores [14:05]
  • Trae and I dive in to dealing with the escalating costs of teens’ eating out and work through some thoughts on how to address this issue. Our conversation on this topic goes on for 3-4 minutes, so please listen to it in its entirety. [16:11]
  • The new frontier of the summer job [19:53]
  • A time when Trae’s daughter impressed her great-aunt and grandmother with her smart shopping habits [20:36]
  • Trae taught her daughter thrift shopping. Doing so has kept her daughter’s spending at reasonable levels and has allowed her to change styles without breaking the bank. [22:04]
  • Trae’s daughter has also learned to customize the clothes she purchases at thrift stores. [26:21]
  • Avoiding fast fashion and developing patience for sales [27:48]
  • Dealing with teen brand obsession through family discussion [29:07]
  • Smart shopping on Amazon [30:22]
  • The importance of talking to your kids about frictionless purchases like Starbucks, Amazon, and Doordash [33:26]
  • Money empowerment and spending wisely [42:51]
  • Music lessons as an investment [43:18]
  • Smart shopping [43:54]
  • Stop overspending and keeping up with the Joneses [44:14]
  • Trae’s reasoning for not recommending a specific money-smart resource [45:27]
  • Trae’s web and social media presence [46:45]
  • Getting Trae to 10k [47:29]

If you liked this episode …

Still on the hunt for more tips and tricks to help your kids spend smart? Mark and Kimberlee Barnes, “The Not So Perfect Parents,” address many of the same concerns as Trae in their episode of The Art of Allowance podcast. Be sure to tune in for additional advice on transitioning your child to a debit card, navigating clothing and food purchases, as well as adding friction to online transactions.

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You might also want to check out The Money Mammals, our program to get your children excited about money smarts when they’re young. Until next time, I wish you and your family well as you journey forth.

Thanks for listening.