Shopping for the Fall Road Trip: A Lesson in Personal Finance

As we have been preparing for the Fall Road Trip, there’ been a few things we’ve needed to pick up. And K reminded me that there was a few things she wanted to invest in for Jazzy.

Img_ 001_253x169 Since our last major road trip in 2009, K has done more research about traveling with a dog. And of course she learned a few lessons just from bringing Jazzy along last time – like towards the end of the last day, Jazzy is just as ready to get out of the car as everyone else.

So this week we headed off to a big box pet store to look at the item that K had researched. She had a limited budget, and a specific shopping list. The first up was a auto safety harness.

Personally I had no idea that they even existed. But now that she has one, it’s a pretty neat idea. Basically it’ a dog halter that clips onto a short leash like thing that attaches to the seat belt. So if we have to slam on the brakes, Jazzy won’t go flying.

Img_ 236_300x169But in looking through the selection at the pet store, I was unimpressed with the pricing. Even though K was paying, I still wanted her to get the best deal. So, the outing turned into a lesson in personal finance, and different ways to comparison shop online vs. offline.

Since the pricing in the store was more than the pricing she had seen online from the same pet store, she agreed and we picked up only a few things from her list. Items that she felt were worth it.

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But of course being that it is close to the holidays there were a few temptations, like trying to convince me that Jazzy needs snow boots for the trip

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Look Mom, They're so cute!

 Sorry, not happening. But if she wants to buy them, that’s her choice.

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But one of the reason I enjoy shopping with my kids is that it offers up these abilities to discuss practical real life situations. Like when is it a good price, or even if it is on sale, that doesn’t mean it’s the best use of our funds.

These are good lessons, and really good ones to learn early, and often. I hope by taking the time to shop with the kids and discuss purchasing options, they will become wiser stewards of their money than I was, and learn the lessons earlier and on an easier slope than I had to.

And in case you are wondering, I said no to the Christmas stocking too. She’ll have to save up for it, if she really thinks Jazzy needs it. :)

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