Freedom Debt Relief - Children & Commercialism


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According to a national survey commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream, children aged 12 to 17 will ask their parents for products they have seen advertised an average of nine times until the parents finally relent.

Watching television commercials may seem
like a harmless activity for children. However,
companies use commercial spots and other
advertising methods to promote new products to young consumers.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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Freedom Debt Relief - Children & Commercialism

  1. 1. Volume 4 #8 Children & Commercialism FDR Client Reminders • Spare Change Credit Corner • Frugal DIY Do You Have a Spending Personality? (Part 2) Welcome to the Freedom Debt Relief monthly newsletter! As part of our ongoing goal to enhance our services, we will be sending you a monthly newsletter filled with interesting articles and helpful financial tips and advice. We hope you enjoy this issue, and that you find the enclosed 1-800-655-6303 information helpful as you continue on the road to financial freedom. suggest one or two toys along with savings bonds so children can learn the importance of saving for the future. hildren & Be aware of how toys and games represent money. Certain ommercialism toys and games on the market may give children misconceptions about money. Pay close attention to games that simulate a shopping experience or include play credit cards or money. These products may claim that they teach children financial responsibility, but in ou are watching TV with your child if they currently have a toy that did not live up actuality, they may be promoting consumerism. and they see a commercial for the latest to its expectations or was not as fabulous as the When choosing toys, you may want to visit toy that features their favorite character. commercial implied. This type of dialogue may the site for the organization Playing for Keeps Your child will more than likely become excited help children make better purchasing decisions. (, an initiative of and say: “I want that!” Research shows that this is If you are interested in how the amount of the Association of Children’s Museums that how product makers want kids to react. television and other electronic media exposure promotes creative and imaginative play. This According to a national survey commissioned affects children, you may want to visit the web site lists many timeless and unbranded toys by the Center for a New American Dream, site for the Center for Screen-Time Awareness at for various age groups. The Center for a New children aged 12 to 17 will ask their parents for American Dream also publishes a free download products they have seen advertised an average of entitled: “Tips for Parenting in a Commercial nine times until the parents finally relent. Culture.” You can access this publication at www. Watching television commercials may seem The effect of television commercials According like a harmless activity for children. However, can surface when you take your children to this brochure, “Whether it’s playing games, companies use commercial spots and other shopping. This gives young kids an opportunity cooking, reading together, or just sharing space advertising methods to promote new products to see all of the toys and products advertised in with the TV off, remember that the best thing to young consumers. The Institute of Medicine commercials. You are bound to hear pleas and you can give your kids is you.” reports that advertisers spent more than $10 whines begging you to buy them stuff. Consider billion targeting youth through TV ads, coupons, having your kids start a master list of things they contests, and packaging designed for children. want. If they demand that you buy something Exposure to an abundance of advertising can for them in a store, tell them they cannot have make parent and child shopping trips stressful it now. If it is really important to them, they can experiences and may affect the future spending add it to the list. When birthdays and holidays habits of children. Below are some tips to help come around, tell children they can pick a certain children make smart choices in a consumer number of items from their master list. culture. Limit TV time.According to As the holiday season approaches in a few CommonSense Media, a non-profit organization Helpful Web Sites for Children months, advertisers are gearing up now by dedicated to improving media airing many commercials directed towards children, the for items that children may ( average American child views request on their holiday list. dontbuyit/buyingsmart) This site sponsored 40,000 commercials each There is nothing wrong with by PBS shows children how to “get media year on broadcast TV. That making a child smile for a smart” and question advertising gimmicks. amounts to approximately special occasion, but catering 100 commercials per day! to every one of their wishes ( If you are watching TV may not always be a wise ~wpockets) This site offers younger children with your child and they choice. Oftentimes, children online stories about subjects related to insist that they want a toy that are showered with gifts finances. or product shown in a from relatives on birthdays commercial, consider having and various holidays become (www. a conversation with them. Tell so overwhelmed that they This site is an them that you wonder if the may lose appreciation for the educational simulation that is intended to product is really as wonderful items. If grandparents, aunts, teach children about daily financial choices as the commercial claims. You and uncles insist on splurging, and budgeting. may also want to ask them
  2. 2. Consumers Union in order to provide additional support to our clients with respect to creditor harassment. All FDR clients are automatically given membership into the American Consumers Union, and are given the full use and support of the advocacy group, at no additional charge. This is a terrific benefit for our clients and we are Client Reminders happy to be able to provide this service to our clients at our expense. You can visit them online at Visit us on the web! Did you know *** that you can view your account information online? We have recently enhanced our Customer Service Phone No: web site for our clients. Go to www. 1-800-655-6303 and click on the tab “Current Clients.” Then, near the bottom of FAX No: 650-393-6800 the page under the heading “Existing Client Login for Account Information” click on News, financial tips, and other the button, “Click Here.” Enter your e-mail Hours of Operation: information regarding personal address, and then follow the instructions Mon-Thurs: 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PST to create a password and validate your financial freedom Fri: 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST information. You will now be able to view Sat: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST this information online! Let the Wallet Buddy help you E-mail: make purchasing choices. American Consumers Union The Center for a New American Dream is FDR has a partnership with the American an organization that advocates consuming responsibly to protect the environment. In order Credit Corner to help consumers to “think before they buy,” this organization offers a Wallet Buddy available for download at pdf. You can put it over a debit card or on the As you strive to settle your debts, most of you have made a commitment to rely on cash instead of credit cards. After you complete your debt negotiation program, you will probably want to re-establish your credit. As you “Do I need this and do I need it now?” and “Is it probably know, credit cards can cause serious financial worth the money?” This may help you stop and problems if they are not used properly. Periodically, this think before buying excessive purchases. column will discuss a credit card issue and give you tips on responsible credit card use. This month’s topic is sales tactics to make you spend more with credit. U Credit freeze laws are nless you are a mainly used at department offer a store credit card to business owner, you stores or for major purchases their customers. Employees streamlined in certain states. A may not realize that like furniture. In today’s are usually trained to persuade security freeze gives consumers the ability to credit card companies charge society, consumers can use customers to complete a businesses fees (usually 2% to a credit card to pay for their credit card application at anyone trying to open up a new account for 4% of the total cost of the sale) morning paper or have a the checkout counter. Sales credit or services in their name. When a security to accept credit cards. This pizza delivered. According associates persuade customers freeze is in place at all three major credit information may make you to Convenience Store News, by telling them that they bureaus, an identity thief cannot open a new wonder why retailers would an estimated 45 million can save a certain percentage account because the potential creditor or seller bother with credit cards at all. Americans are willing to off of their purchase. Due of services will not be able to check the credit The answer is easy. Research use credit or debit cards to technological advances indicates that consumers for purchases of $5 or less. in recent years, customers credit, he or she can lift the freeze temporarily spend considerably more when Consider using cash for small will know the outcome of using a PIN so legitimate applications for credit using credit cards. According purchases. If a store requires their application in minutes. or services can be processed. Most states give to Cardweb Research (www. you to make a minimum Applicants usually just need the credit bureaus up to three business days to, consumers purchase amount, you will to swipe another major credit lift or remove the freeze after a consumer makes spend 212% more when most likely buy more than you card along with entering some they pay with a credit card. need. other basic information into Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Therefore, stores may use many a pin pad. If approved, the and Washington, D.C., will be able to lift or gimmicks to encourage credit cashier issues a temporary Open an account and card spending. Below are some credit card so the customer save. Many chain retailers store sales tactics that may can use it until they receive the bureaus using a PIN. This same provision goes persuade you to splurge with a plastic one in the mail. When into effect in January 2009 in Delaware, Indiana, credit card. it comes time to re-establish Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, and Tennessee. your credit, you may want to The rules for using a security freeze vary think twice about opening up Spend at least $7.00 across the country because of different state a store account at a register. laws governing their use. To learn more about to use your card at a Checkout lines and retail convenience store. At one time, credit cards were Continued on page 3.
  3. 3. and large appliances are notorious for offering you can pay off the balance within the deferment Continued from page 2. deferred payment sales. Receiving your purchase period. Consider the fact that your situation stores are usually busy and hectic. This type of now and not paying for it for years may seem may change during this time and you may not environment may cause you to make impulsive like a wonderful option. These sales also be able to make payments as early as you would decisions. If you really want a credit card from promote that there will be “no interest” during like. Also, consider how long it will take to pay a particular store, it may be best to think about the deferment period, which also may sound like off the balance if you simply pay the minimum. the choice before you make a snap decision just a great deal. However, many consumers fail to Online calculators such as “The True Cost to save 10 or 20 percent. Keeping a revolving read the fine print before signing the paperwork. of Paying the Minimum” on www.bankrate. balance on the card can quickly surpass that In most cases, these contracts com/brm/calc/MinPayment.asp amount of savings. Don’t bother telling the state that if you wait until or “The Deferred Payment” on sales associate that you do not think you will after the deferment period to get approved. Many stores will still give you the start making payments, you can help you discover how discount, but the inquiry will appear on your will be paying the accrued much interest will accrue. If credit report. Too many inquiries may affect interest from the date of your it will take you ten years to your credit rating. purchase, which can result pay off a piece of furniture by in an outrageous amount of simply paying the minimum, Buy now and make no payment money. Before agreeing to this consider what it will look like type of contract, be sure that at that time. for three years. Stores that sell furniture interested in making your own natural beauty than an item purchased at the products, visit This mall. For some inexpensive site states that some of the homemade products and creative ideas, visit craft may be less expensive than purchasing store- stores or look in magazines bought goods. to spark your imagination. Examples include collecting old photographs of your Clean your own siblings and making a colorful house. Busy schedules could scrapbook. You can also write a poem to your inspire some consumers to hire spouse and frame it. Check out the DIY network cleaning services. According to the at and on the U.S. Department of Commerce, Do-It-Yourself GIFTS web site at more than 10% of all U.S. The holiday season is still a Frugal households paid a professional few months away, but the following web site, service to clean their homes. It may help you get a get may be convenient, but quite a head start on ideas for low-cost homemade costly. estimates that an average gifts. Gift-making is often more economical, two-story house can cost $104-$180 per session. but plan early because some projects may be Establish a cleaning schedule or chore sheet so Do-It-Yourself time-consuming. If you run out of time or the each member of the household can contribute. completed project is not what you had in mind, If you want to save money on cleaning products, you may be forced to purchase a gift at the last the Treehugging Family web site lists 25 non- minute, which defeats the purpose of saving toxic homemade cleaning solutions (www. he phrase “do-it-yourself ” or DIY T money. mostly refers to home improvement or homemade-cleaning-supplies). craft projects. In order to save money, Educate yourself. There will you may be able to apply the DIY concept to always be some fields of study that require other areas of your life. Below are some tips Cook at home. The formal education. But, if you have an interest that may help you review your budget and find U.S. Department of Agriculture in a specific topic or field of study, consider tasks that you can do yourself instead of paying reports that Americans spent 47 alternatives to expensive classes. Take advantage somebody else. percent of their food budget on of the resources at your local library. If your local eating out. You can usually cook branch does not stock a particular book, many Beautify meals at home for a fraction of libraries can locate the item via inter-library loan. a cost. If you are short on time, yourself. According One way to find interesting reading material consider preparing food in large to Beauty Store Business is to visit shopping sites such as quantities and freezing it so it will Magazine, an average com and Instead be ready throughout the week. “Brown-bagging” retailer that offers both of always buying the book, contact your local or taking your lunch to work can also be less salon and beauty products library to see if they can find it with the ISBN expensive than dining out or ordering take out. can generate $400,000 per number. You can also visit bookstores and peruse You may also want to keep staples such as peanut year. If you have become accustomed to frequent the aisles of topics that spark your interest. Many butter, bread, and dry soups at work instead of visits to the salon or spa, this luxury can start to stores also have quiet reading areas that allow remembering to pack a lunch. You can check out seem like a necessity that is difficult to eliminate you to browse through books to see if you want the “Brown Bag Calculator” on the Community from your routine. As you strive to settle your to purchase it. Again, rather Bank web site. It estimates how much interest debts, you may consider forgoing a manicure than always buying it, see if you can earn if you invest the money that you or pedicure appointment and perhaps doing you can get a copy through save on lunches. To access this online calculator, your own nails at home. Visit this site: www. your library. As you may know, visit and then for you can also find vast amounts click on “Calculators” followed by the “Brown tips on DIY nails. You can read about frugal hair of information online as long Bag Savings” link. care tips at as you consider the source. hair-care, courtesy of the Happy Housewife, Remember that education is which is an online community that offers tips Make your own gifts. A priceless a lifelong process! We learn for families living on one income. If you are homemade treasure may bring more happiness something new everyday.
  4. 4. Do You Have a Spending Personality? (Part 2) Many people have a primary spending personality that may affect how they use money. J. Grady Cash wrote a book entitled Seven Deadly Money Mistakes in which he identifies seven spending personalities. Last month, we featured three of them. In this newsletter edition, we include three more spending personalities. Here is some information about avoidance shopping, esteem buying, and overdone buying. Esteem Overdone Avoidance Buying Buying Shopping Causes: Peer pressure, desire Causes: Usually related Causes: Shopping instead to appear successful, wants to to an excessive hobby or of dealing with problems or gain self-esteem by shopping behavior; can be a dependency shopping to get even Solutions: Face underlying problem, be Solutions: Separate self-worth from Solutions: Acknowledge the behavior, honest with yourself possessions, gain self-esteem in other ways avoid situations that encourage the spending Esteem buying is the second most common Overdone buying is typically related to a hobby You may have heard the phrase, “When the spending personality after impulse buying. or behavior. The problem of this personality going gets tough, the tough go shopping.” It is common among those influenced by arises when one becomes infatuated with a Avoidance shoppers use shopping as a way to their peers (teens, social climbers, etc.). habit or hobby to the point where it causes escape the stress of life. Unfortunately, this Possessions may make esteem buyers feel financial problems. Overdone buying may spending personality can cause a downward happy and successful. They also tend to include classic examples such as drugs, alcohol, spiral and lead to excessive spending. When imitate the behavior of individuals that they eating, gambling, etc. These habits may cause shopping in an emotional state, it is difficult to admire. “Keeping up with the Jones” is one a double whammy. They not only ruin your spend smart. If this avoidance becomes a habit, of the major contributing factors to exploding financial situation, but may also cause health the underlying problem does not disappear, it consumer debt. problems as well. may only fester and becomes worse. 1875 South Grant Street Suite 400 San Mateo, CA 94402 Phone: (800) 655-6303 FAX: (650) 897-8800