Driven by clever advertising campaigns and a need to fit in with their friends, young people are often desperate to wear the latest designer clothes or show off new flashy gadgets.
So how do you please label-savvy teens while still spending within the family budget? Follow our money-saving advice…
Look for bargains
Although designer clothes are generally expensive, it’s possible to buy big name labels at discount prices. The easiest time to find bargains is during end of season sales, so plan shopping trips to coincide with these.
If you’re teen can’t wait until then, ask shop assistants if they have a permanent sale rail. Alternatively, visit your local outlet village or try discount stores such as TK Maxx – they stock reduced-price designer items throughout the year.
The internet is the best place to search for bargains. If your child has their heart set on a particular item, try bidding for it on eBay.
You could even suggest they sell some of their unwanted items on the site and put the cash towards new purchases.
Alternatively, cut-price designer items can be found for sale on discount sites such as SportsDirect (selling Nike, Adidas etc) and Shop It To Me – a site listing items in your size, currently in the sale at various online stores.
Build a budget
Fashion trends are often fickle, and you may find teens are never satisfied with what they have. Encourage them to stick to a set budget every month. Not only will this help curb their shopping addictions, but it will also help you to keep a tighter control on spending.
Create a trend
Help your child to make the most of their money by suggesting they invest in a few key items, such as a pair of trousers or shoes, and use these as a base for creating different outfits.
Any cash they have left over could be put towards buying accessories – a very cheap way to transform an outfit.
Another option is to customise clothes. Find some great suggestions from TV personality Gok Wan at www.channel4.com. After all, fashion is about displaying your personality.
If it all sounds a bit too much like hard work for your teen, offer to lend a helping hand. It might also be a nice opportunity to spend some time together.
One of the main reasons teenagers like to have the latest labels is because they’re desperate to fit in with a crowd and be accepted by their peers. Nip the problem in the bud by explaining how appearance is only superficial.
Encourage teens to gain self-confidence through other means instead, such as starting a new hobby.
Help them to understand that a new dress or iPhone may make them happy for a short while, but not forever. And if they really want something – why don’t they find a part-time job and save up to buy it themselves?