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money habits

Sleep on it

17 March 2020

Rebecca Sparrow is a Suncorp Ambassador and a best-selling author, columnist, podcast host and passionate advocate for teenagers. She works closely with Suncorp and Financial Basics Foundation to champion financial literacy for young Australians. As a mother of three children, she understands the importance of talking about money with kids and the value of financial literacy education, both at school and home.

Here’s a question. What do a ball gown, a fringed leather jacket, an ab machine, a ute, a treadmill, a bluetooth speaker and a pink cake mixer have in common?  They’re all things my friends (and their teenage children) have bought on impulse and then regretted just 24 hours later.

Ahh yes, the impulse buy. We’ve all been there, right? We’ve seen something and just decided on the spot WE. MUST. HAVE. IT! Twenty-four hours later though and so often we realise it was a big, big mistake. 

When it comes to big purchases, the ‘Sleep On It’ Rule of Thumb is a good one to follow. So often the urge to splurge on a particular item disappears once we’ve thought about it for a day and really thought through the pros and cons. Can we afford it?  Do we need it? Have we budgeted for it?

Impulse buys can derail our financial goals in the time it takes to say, ‘I’ll take it!’ So next time you or your kids find yourself impulsively considering a massive purchase --- take a breath and sleep on it. What looks like a must-have one day looks like a don’t-want the next.

TIP: Share with your kids one example of a time you bought an item on impulse which ended up being a complete waste of money!

We know it’s one thing to explain a financial concept to children, but demonstrating it with real life behaviours can help them understand it better.  We’ve developed these worksheets to provide you with additional activities and practical examples.  Get the conversation started with your children by working through these  family activities together.

 Sleep on it activity sheet

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This content includes the views and opinions of a third-party, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Suncorp. Any advice contained in this document has been prepared without taking into  account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs. For that reason, before acting on the information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

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