First things first: Are you spoiling your kids?
As an adult, there's one thing you know for sure about money—it's a limited resource. And yet, that's a message we have a tremendously hard time passing along to our kids. Many of us—often because we feel parental guilt for hours working (or playing) outside the home, away from them—give our kids most of the things they ask for, despite the fact that we may not be able to afford them.
Research has shown this is not just bad for your pocketbook. It's bad for your children. In her book, Born To Buy, Juliet B. Schor recounts her study of 300 fifth- and sixth-graders. She found those who are mega-consumers by this age, who can't be pulled away from the TV, the Internet or whatever technology you've purchased for them, are more likely to have problems with boredom, depression, headaches and stomachaches. And it gets worse when they get older.