Of course it’s important to treat kids occasionally with the newest toy or the latest game. But as the economy sinks and money gets tighter, it seems to me these types of purchases are also some of the first to cut back on. So I’m extremely surprised that even as families would reduce spending on groceries and school supplies, our toy budgets swell: Americans reduced average supermarket spending by about .5% from 2009 to 2010 while in the same period, toy industry sales grew by 2%.
I’m familiar with the temptation to overspend on kid’s toys. And I know the problem with buying for your kids is that usually the most popular game or specific remote controlled car is just the only thing that’ll do. It’s hard to keep your consumer sense in the midst of the trends that keep our kids and tweens primarily wanting all the same things.
My latest graphic on U.S. toy spending should remind you to check loose spending on that latest video game or too-frequently updating kids’ collections of non-necessities. Check out the surprising cost of our kids’ whims: