recently took a look at a couple -- the father earns six figures per year -- that's finding itself in a precarious financial position. And a big part of the problem is the couple's reckless spending on their pre-teen children: video games, clothing, ski lessons, etc.
The average upper-income family spends $182,000 on their children -- before they hit 18 and head off to college. Studies have shown that parents are more likely to slap down their plastic to indulge their kids then they are to spend on themselves.
The Money piece has some great tips and I would strongly suggest reading it if you're finding your kids bleeding you dry. Here's my advice: Once a kid hits 14, he can get a job and pay for his own video games and Abercrombie, if he so desires. So when it comes to curbing reckless discretionary spending, we're really talking about the pre-teen years.