Parents Slow to Cut Spending on Kids

Filed under: Work Life, In The News

Party Baby

The recession hasn't curbed parents' spending on their kids. Credit: boopsie.daisy, Flickr

Parents trying to weather the recession are cutting back on their own vices, such as alcohol and tobacco, but they aren't willing to spend less on their kids.

American families spent about $9.7 billion dollars less on clothing and shoes as compared to a year earlier, but the kids aren't wearing hand-me-downs, according to The Wall Street Journal. In fact, the Consumer Expenditure Survey, conducted by the United States Labor Department, revealed that parents paid out the same amount on kids younger than 16 as they did the year before.

Older teenagers and grown-ups got the shaft, though -- according to the survey, spending on clothing and shoes for males and females older than 16 declined.

Mom and Dad are still shelling out the big bucks to keep their kids entertained as well. The Journal reported that families spent $2,834 apiece in that category, which includes spending on toys, hobbies, pets and playground equipment. In fact, families spent an average of $144 more than they did the year prior.The study also indicated that families may be staying home more often; spending on audiovisual equipment increased by $50 annually, while monies allocated to fees and admissions declined by $42.

So just how are parents stretching their dollars? They're cutting out alcohol and tobacco products. The average family spent $317 on smoking products last year, down from $323 in 2007. They also spent an average of $13 less on booze, The Journal reported.

Are you cutting back on your own personal or household spending so you don't have to cut back on spending for the kids?


Related: More on Kids Birthdays

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.