Teens And Money: Using A Waiting Period Before Significant Purchases

A spending waiting period can prevent a person from throwing their money away on something they won’t get a significant amount of value from, or something they just flat out don’t need. Whether the waiting period is 24 hours or a week, the concept is the same. Before making a significant purchase, wait a period of time to really reflect upon the purchase. If after the waiting period has expired you still want the item, buy it. This same method can simply prevent a person from making a bad decision when it comes to what product to buy, or whom to buy it from.

My son received a significant amount of cash gifts for his high school graduation. With our permission, he was going to use some of the money to put a sub-woofer in his car. His first inclination was to go to a car audio specialty store, as he wanted a quality product and he wanted it installed correctly. After discovering the price, he rethought his decision.

A coworker directed him at a friend that was willing to do it for less. My son and wife discussed at length what might be the right direction. I suggested he find out more information, and then make his decision. My goal was to insert some time into process to allow him to really think things through.

After getting more information, and putting more thought into it, my son still wanted to get a sub-woofer but decided to not use the friend of a coworker for the following reasons:

Person Is Unknown

While the person that would do the work came recommended, my son doesn’t know him. He has no way to get feedback on the person’s work. This made him uneasy.

What If Something Goes Wrong?

If the person damages my son’s car, or something doesn’t work right, it might be difficult to get the person to fix it.

Unknown Product

One question I did ask my son was querying the subwoofer the private party would install. I assumed it would be the same product he was looking at with the car audio store, but to my surprise my son didn’t know. This made me very uneasy. A customer should be able to select what product they want, and I was confused how this private party could quote a price without listing what speaker he would be installing.


The cost quoted to my son by the private party wasn’t that much cheaper than the car audio store. Given we didn’t even know what product he was installing, and the other negatives listed didn’t seem worth the small price difference.

My son decided to go back and talk to the car audio store again about having a sub-woofer installed. He even stated he may look around a bit more before going ahead with his purchase.

Having a waiting period before making a significant purchase can sometimes help you decide that you don’t want something. But it can also help you determine that even if you still want to make the purchase, more investigation of options is needed to ensure you get the best value for your money.

How about you, EOD nation, do you have a waiting period before making a significant purchase? How often does it prevent you from making the purchase at all? How often does it cause you to investigate more options to ensure you get the best value for your money?

About Travis

2 Responses to “Teens And Money: Using A Waiting Period Before Significant Purchases”

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  1. I love that you’re teaching him this lesson. Our oldest is in the process of saving for a new, expensive computer. Retail would run around $5k, however she has a friend who knows how to build them and is willing to build one for her for about $2k. Luckily, she has to wait to save enough money so she has time to think about what the right way to go is. Since the kid has extensive experience building them, and since she knows him pretty well, she’ll probably take him up on his offer, but I’m glad she has some time to think it through before making a final decision.

    • I hope your daughter asks if she can be involved with the process of building her a PC.

      My son and I built one “together” for him when he was about 13. I made all the decisions about what to get, but I talked each component through with him. I did much of the build, but he put one of the drives in and the memory and installed XP (that dates it!) Since then he has built another one for himself and one for his girlfriend.

      It’s empowering for teens to realise they can build something better and cheaper than is commercially available.

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