Do Kids Need The Brand Names?

My kids are now 12, 10, and 8 years old.    Every once in while I will make the excursion to the indoor or outdoor shopping mall where I see parents do things that I simply cannot understand if the goal is to achieve financial independence.

It seems like every mall or suburb strip outlet you go into today has virtually all the same stores.  What would a mall be without a GAP or an Abercrombie & Fitch?   What amazes me the most is how we as parents can get caught up in making sure that our children have the very best in brand names without thinking about the price or whether it is affordable in our monthly budget.

If your kid needs a pair of jeans, is there really a difference between the non-brand jeans at $20 vs. the designer jeans that cost $120.    Some parents will argue yes, but I haven’t heard a case yet that makes me think there is really a $100 difference.   More importantly I haven’t been to a bowling party or a Gymboree party when my kids were younger where I heard one kid say to another, “Wow, where did you get that really cool Ralph Lauren shirt?”

As a 40 year old Gen X’er, I was caught up for a few years with my kids and the brand names until I decided to get smart and make some good financial choices.    One thing you can consider that has worked well for me is to find another family to essentially “trade” clothes.  If you have boys or girls at different ages with a friend that has similar taste, this can be a great way to get value out of some of those pricey clothes you bought already.   Another thing you can do is look for discounts through outlets that carry brand names.  Recently, I got a great deal on two pairs of Nike sneakers by getting a low price on the first with a 50% discount on the second.  Will anyone really know they weren’t from the “Nike” store?

Last, is to realize that brand names at the end of the day aren’t go to pay for what really counts, which is your children’s college education.  If you spent $1,000 less per year on brand name clothes and put it toward a college account (read about creating a college saving plan here), what will really count at the end of the day?

By making good money choices about clothes, you will have more money in the bank for the future.   As a side note, I can’t remember seeing a kids list by Mr. Blackwell any time in recent history.

oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin  is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.


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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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One Comment

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    December 4, 2009

    I rarely comment on blogs but yours I had to stop and say Great Blog!!

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