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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Are boys more expensive?

 

 "I've always wanted a son." I said haphazardly the other day at my desk. "They're more fun, they're good and gruwelik and they're cheaper. There aren't all those extra hair clips and accessory 'must haves' to buy."

"Erm… actually…", said Adele, well of wisdom and mother of two boys. "Boys, I think, are more expensive than girls. They have all that extra sport kit to get…"

"…And uniforms and boys' clothing is just more expensive. Think about what a boy's jacket costs as opposed to a girls' jacket." finished off Zayaan.

 

And I did think about it. And asked some questions… According to Woolworths' buyer for Children's wear, Anton Peters, buying for boys is more expensive. Not only do the "blocks" (squares of fabric that little boys' clothing get cut from) cost more but the embellishments on the garment are often more expensive. That "stressed" look on a cargo pants takes a couple of washes to achieve along with that mock cowboy buckle and cargo pants' pockets. Boys' clothing is also made to be more durable so the material itself costs more.  Compare that to the little tank top with printed flower detail that Janey wears and you'll see why Johnny's mommy is spending a little more to clothe her son.

 

And that's just the clothing!  The results of the Parent24 2009 survey show that: "A significant relationship was found between the number of children in a family and parental ratings of how important fees are." Unsurprisingly the more kids you have the more likely you are to moan about school fees being expensive. Also the less wealthy you are you're also more likely to rate fees as important. But here's the kicker…"Parents with at least one boy in the family were more likely to say fees were very important. This was the case even when controlling for the number of children in the family and the income of the parent."  What does this mean? Is it possible that perhaps boys’ schooling is also more expensive?

 

So maybe boys are still more fun – but perhaps you're paying for the privilege? 

 

COMMENT 1.

As a father of 4 boys, I'm going to agree that boys are cheaper than girls. Don't let my non-experience with raising girls slant your view of my opinion.
Let's go down the checklist:

  • Weddings - girl's side pays at least four times the boy's side
  • Clothes - in most cases, girls will have more and items cost more
  • Hygiene - girls use more products plus makeup
  • Sports - about equal here, maybe more for boys with multiple sports
  • Parties - boys tend to go to parties, girls tend to have more
  • Food - boys eat more
  • Cars - insurance is definitely cheaper for girls
  • Decorating - I'm thinking girls will spend more decorating their room
  • College - probably about the same
  • The wedding and clothes will likely tilt the scale in favor of girls. But, there will always be exceptions.

 

COMMENT 2.

I think it just depends on the kid(s) and the parents, and perhaps even the environment in which you are raising your kids. Not necessarily whether or not you have a boy or a girl. 

Parents do have the power to say "No." Whether or not you do is totally up to you. You don't have to indulge every single one of your child's latest wishes or requests. You don't have to do everything everyone else is doing. It actually makes me kind of sick when I see kids these days with all the latest expensive gadgets (iPhone's? iPods?) and wearing designer clothes and expensive backpacks and so on... Parents are setting their kids up for trouble.

We have two boys, and we feel the biggest expense is food. I don't have a girl, so I don't really know, but I know my boys are constantly eating.  We opt for locally-grown organic stuff, too, and I cook...and cook... and cook...  so our food bill is kinda spooky.

We don't spend a lot of money elsewhere, though. We shop at thrift stores for most of the clothes or we watch for the sales and coupons, we rent their musical instruments (at first, until they decide if they want to continue long-term) or buy them used (when they decide they want to keep playing), they do not participate in contact or semi-contact sports (football, basketball, etc.) because they are too expensive, too time-consuming, and too aggressive. We don't like the culture that surrounds those kinds of sports. It's actually not a very good example of sportmanship, the things you see when you go to those games or watch that stuff on TV. They use the money they earn to buy their own games/toys/etc, and for birthdays we usually just let them have their friends over for homemade cake, pizza, a movie or video games, etc. They ride their bikes to and from school and they have used the same backpacks for several years. They do swim on a swim team, but it's optional whether or not you choose to compete. They do it more for fun and exercise as well as to improve their swimming technique. Their coach is very positive and sets a good example. As far as cars, we have a small car that is all paid for that we plan to allow them to use while they are in high school to get to and from school and work. (They are 4 years apart, so they will not be in high school at the same time.) The car will also be a tool we can use as parents in case we need to take a privilege away for a punishment. They know that they will need to keep their grades up, behave themselves, and continue to make good choices with their lives in order to keep the privilege of using the car. They will also have to contribute to the cost of maintaining and using the car (gas, oil changes, auto insurance, etc.)

Birthdays and Christmas can be expensive if you're not careful. We've found that celebrating birthdays at home with just a few friends is more worthwhile than having a huge party and spending a lot of money for a crazy, hectic night of junkfood and sugar-induced chaos. Our oldest actually has a birthday this week... he's taking three friends - and his dad - to play paintball, then they're coming back home to hang out, eat, play video games. It should be a good time. For CHristmas, we have a cash stash that we put money into each month. We aim for $50 a month but sometimes we do more. We begin this in January, so by the end of that year, that's our Christmas money. We use that money for our tree, materials to make gifts, to buy any presents we might want to buy, etc. The first few years we did this, it was hard to stick to just what we had saved... but it gets easier as you get used to it.

Anyway - I really don't think girls have to be more expensive. Girls don't have to wear makeup. They can shop at thrift stores. There are ways to have low-cost parties and sleepovers. They can wait until they are old enough to babysit or work to earn their own money to begin buying the things they want. Parents do not have to give in or indulge in all those things. Teach your kids the value of things, and how to appreciate the things they already have by not overindulging them.


 

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