Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Toys taking up your whole budget?...

It's the Today Show people, do they lie? Hmm... Anyway, this is the latest numbers --people are spending $750-$1000 a year on toys for their kids? Really?

Babyplays.com is this lady's website, it's like netflix for toys (her words), you can 'rent' toys that come about 4-6 in a box to your house, and when your kids outgrow them you ship them back. You make a wishlist and every month you get a new shipment based on what you're interested in. That way if your kid is bored with something, they have something new coming in all the time. This is a smart business model. There's plenty of people that don't want a new toy every week flooding their homes. Unfortunately, it still costs around $450 a year to 'rent' the toys.

She did tout it as way to keep your kids from whining for new toys every time you go to the store, because they put it on their 'wishlist' -- as i kid, I didnt ever whine, I put a toy on my own wishlist for a birthday or Christmas. Probably because I only figured I would get toys on my birthday and Christmas and not at any other time. I was told not to whine, that it wouldnt get me anywhere except in trouble, and what do you know, if I whined, I got in trouble, and I sure as heck didn't get any toys if I whined.

So are toys taking up your whole budget? Are you letting your kids' 5 minute impulses take over whether or not you get a manicure, a haircut, a night out this month? Do your kids have tons of toys but you haven't had a date night this year? Are their toys taking over your living room?

I'm more than happy for a SAHM to have a great business plan, but if you can't afford to rent toys from her, here's an idea, nope, here's a CHALLENGE for you: dont' give in to your kids pleas at the store. Make your own wishlist for when they have a major event (whatever you consider major) -- and stick to it! Then, do what she does, on a small scale level! Take half or a third of your kids toys, pick them up off the floor, from under the bed, whatever, and put them in a box in your closet, hidden away. In 2 weeks, get those toys back out and put the other toys away in your closet. Just like in her business plan, you'll be amazed how 'new' these toys seem to your kids after they haven't seen them for a while.

What do you think about that?

7 comments:

Regina said...

It's working in my house- at a lot lower cost! And you should not underestimate cardboard boxes and tubes, a few crayons, some masking tape, a box of dress up clothes and hats - stuff like that. And not a battery in sight!

Toy shopping happens only when I am out alone - or online - I think my son thinks there is a "toy fairy" somewhere, so we have no issues out shopping.

He's happy, Mommy and daddy are happy, and that extra money is in the college fund!

Lil Mouse said...

atta girl regina! can I get an Amen!

Kellie said...

I can't take your challenge. Every two to four weeks, I pack up a lot of Morgan's toys and swap them out with ones from the previous pack-up. I also do a toy swap once a month with a friend who has a son a few months younger than Morgan. Between the two kids, they have every toy possible so, it saves us money and it gives the kids something new to do.

Irish Coffeehouse said...

Hey, I heard about this on the radio today!

When my girls were younger we also rotated out toys. MUCH cheaper, and please... they never remembered what they had anyway.

barnmouse said...

As I was reading this, I thought "hey...I do that with my dog's toys!". It really works for him. He gets bored really easily with toys, so getting "new" ones every month or so spikes his interest. :)

Megnificent said...

I certainly don't spend that much money on toys. I'm a big stickler of no biggies unless it's birthday/Christmas. But....***enter grandparents***...they undo what I do. That's okay, though, because kids should be spoiled by grandparents. A little something here and there for a reward is fine, but seriously...renting toys? Ack.

Jenni said...

We've never spent that much money. When the kids were little, we could usually get away with $50-$100 each for birthdays and Christmas. We splurged on a swingset one year. Another year all four got a trampoline for Christmas as a combined gift and then got a few small things individually.

Now that they're older, it is more expensive, but we still don't spend that much. We don't buy a lot of big ticket items, though. My kids are in the minority in not having a Play Station or Wii or other gaming system. They can do that when they go to friends' houses and do other things here. I don't want them spending that much time on it anyway.

My kids also don't have any four wheelers or motor bikes like some of their friends have. They're just too expensive. We've told them that if they want an item like that, they can start saving and we may chip in some. I guess they aren't that interested.

The big ticket items my kids have gotten recently are iPods and cell phones. Each kid got an iPod Nano for their birthday--and nothing else. The older two kids got cell phones for Christmas and a few other things like a few clothing items and books. The cell phones themselves were a great deal and didn't cost much for a Christmas present, but it's the monthly fee that will cost. Still, we think it's a good idea for them to be able to call in case of emergency and keep in touch with us. They will pay any extra fees they incur.