Say "No" to Save Dough

How to Overcome Whiny Children and Pushy Salesmen

November 16, 2015

Do you feel like life’s doormat on occasion? A lack of assertiveness may contribute to this feeling and cost you money in several ways through the general inability to say “no.”

Assertiveness is not aggression – aggression is more of a dominant attitude. In other words, if I am aggressive, I will win at your expense. If I am passive, I will lose to your benefit. If I am properly assertive, I am simply stating my case and working toward win-win situations.

Easy for us to say, you think, as you struggle with your children melting down in the Wal-Mart or explaining to the pushy car salesman that you are not interested in upgrading to a more expensive model. No, it is not easy… but it is essential to gain self-confidence and avoid paying extra for things that you do not want or need.

Consider these examples to help you along the way. Notice that they all center on some form of planning.

  • Plan Strategies for Meltdowns – It may seem like your kids plan their tantrums at the most advantageous time for them – and perhaps some kids do – but in most cases it is a matter of expectations and behavioral rewards.

    Set expectations for your kids in advance and avoid being “talked into” giving them toys or treats. Let them know when such things are acceptable and when they are not. Be consistent, because once you waver, it is hard to re-establish that you are in charge of the situation.

    Your children will challenge you at some point. Resist the urge to yell at them, and certainly never hit them. Retain your cool, keep your voice calm and relaxed, and remove them to a quiet place where you can discuss expectations.

    Once children understand that outbursts do not get them what they want and that proper behavior will achieve most of what they want, they will stop challenging you. Remember to reinforce the positive and be consistent.

    Be patient. Some children will learn right away, while others will figure it out in graduate school. (Just kidding… we hope.)

  • Plan Shopping Purchases – You can avoid being talked into unwanted purchases by doing your homework beforehand. Do some online research on the item and its associated accessories, as well as the expected price. When you are armed with facts, you can calmly fend off sales pitches and stick to what you want.

    It is fine simply to browse without the intention to buy, but if you know you are prone to impulse purchases, do not take any form of payment with you. That gives you a ready-made excuse to ignore salespeople’s pleas. Once they realize you are not buying, they will quit bothering you.

  • Ignore Solicitors – This covers everything from co-workers selling their kid’s Girl Scout cookies to telemarketers interrupting your dinner. If you have favorite charities, be pre-emptive in giving to them. Plan your charitable giving and tell all others that you have already made your charitable donations. Hang up/Walk away before they have time to respond with a further sales pitch.

Do you see the common thread? Hint: it involves planning.

Understand your weaknesses, make plans that minimize your chances of falling prey to those weaknesses, keep a positive and determined frame of mind, and stay assertive.

After some time this will become second nature, excessive passivity will be replaced with confidence, and you will save money by avoiding unwanted purchases. It is not easy, but with determination and the right mindset, you can do it.

If you want more credit, check out our list of credit card offers.

Photo ©

  Conversation   |   12 Comments

Add a Comment

By submitting you agree to our Terms of Service
Carla | 11.16.15 @ 15:23
We were taught that meltdowns were totally unacceptable and would result in punishment when we got home.
Erin | 11.16.15 @ 15:23
We have a sign on our drive that lets people know we won't talk to solicitors. It doesn't stop them all, but most of them turn around without bothering us. As far as kids go, ours have been taught from a very young age that meltdowns about wanting something is not accepetable and they won't always get what they want.
Sarah | 11.16.15 @ 15:23
These are great tips. I wholeheartedly agree about teaching children what is expected while shopping. I have five and as yet, have never had an in-store meltdown with any of them.
Beverly | 11.16.15 @ 15:23
Saying No can be a hard thing to do sometimes, whether it's too those big beautiful eyes of your children, the cute shirt in the store or the smell of chocolate chip cookies. But you'll feel better about yourself if you can do it.
Steffanie | 11.16.15 @ 15:24
I have always been able to tell my kids no when they were younger. I actually have found it is harder now that they are older and I like the things they want. They are also much more persuasive in their arguments. A good strategy before shopping is very helpful though to ward off their wiley ways. ;)
Elaine | 11.16.15 @ 15:24
I don't have any kids but we work with some everyday. The more they act like above, the more I stand my ground. I consider this a bratty things and I will NOT tolerate it at all.
trish | 11.16.15 @ 15:24
This is an article I need to share with my husband. LOL It's not that he gives into any tantrums by purchasing things for our kids, but no matter where he goes with the kids, they always come home with something. Grocery store? Some of those "toys" that hang off the side of the shelf. Staples? Some new fun shaped erasers that we already have a million of. He is the spoiler. So my planning ahead involves not letting him take the kids into a store...
Nancy | 11.16.15 @ 15:26
I started my children early that they were allowed to look but had to sa goodbye to things and put them back where they belonged. It worked great. In times that didn't and they had a meltdown we left the store.
irene | 11.16.15 @ 15:28
I'm pretty good at saying no to sales reps but my husband can't even close the door on jehova's when they come knocking.
Alec | 11.16.15 @ 15:30
Ever since I had my daughter, I've become a pro at saying no. And budgeting. Nobody can talk me in to a purchase I don't want to make or make me spend more money than I set out to. I also don't answer the door for anyone!
STOKES | 11.16.15 @ 15:31
Being poor makes me great at this!
Sara | 11.16.15 @ 15:33
You know i do not say no just to save money. I say no to not give her a sense of entitlement. But yeah meltdowns are not allowed.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 01.26.21 @ 21:36