Yard Sale Life LessonsMay 28, 2015
By Ana Vela
Yard sale season is in full swing. You may be aware that yard sales are an excellent way to get bargains, but did you know that they are also a great avenue for teaching your child valuable life lessons?
My father, being a yard sale fanatic, had me tag along with him every Saturday morning. That time together holds some of my fondest childhood memories with him: hunting for bargains. He would look for tools and electronics while I would look for toys. He may not have known it at the time, but I learned so many lessons from those experiences that have shaped my habits as an adult today.
According to Infographic Journal, there are an average of 165,000 yard sales held each week in the United States. That gives you plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with your child. 83 percent of people take their children with them when going to yard sales, and 94 percent buy items for their kids during these trips.
Make these trips a routine with your kids and take the opportunity to talk to them about school, their friends, and what’s going on in their lives. In addition to spending quality time together, there are many lessons you can teach your child at yard sales.
Teach about budgeting and saving money.
Give your child a budget to spend at the yard sales and help him or her stay under it. With 42 percent of sellers expecting to come down on prices, encourage your child to negotiate to further save money. You can pull up the retail price of the same item online and compare it to the yard sale price to teach your child about savings. With the average price of a yard sale item being around $0.85, it’s sure to be a shocking price difference!
Guide critical thinking skills and prioritizing.
When deciding what to buy at yard sales, guide your child to think about value. What items are worth buying used and at a bargain versus brand new (clothes, toys, electronics, etc.)? Help your child carefully inspect items to determine if they are good quality and safe. Guide your child to think through his or her decisions.
Promote being green and less wasteful.
Buying used products from yard sales is an excellent way to help the planet. Through this process, teach your child to simplify and be less wasteful.
Encourage being charitable.
Most items that are not sold at garage sales are usually donated to local charities. Teach your child about helping someone in need by donating. Suggest that your child donate any money saved during these trips to a worthy cause. The experience might also inspire your child to donate his or her infrequently used toys or clothes to charity.
As a parent, there are constantly opportunities for you to teach lessons. It just takes some planning on your end to turn a fun shopping trip at a yard sale into a valuable moment in your child’s development.