I want it. You buy it. Any questions?

Frequent commenter Ruth emailed me with this little gem:

I saw a tee shirt on a little girl this morning
1. I want it.
2. You buy it.
3. Any questions?

It was a pink shirt with sparkly sequins which made it even more obnoxious. What parent would buy such a shirt?

My first reaction was to hope that it was meant just the way it sounds – as a joke. My son (who is a reluctant napper) wears a t-shirt that says “Naps are the enemy.” It’s a joke. I put it in the same category as “I’m with Stupid” t-shirts. But part of me thinks that this message, humorous or not, is going to be repeated again and again around the child, to the child, and (because it’s funny) approvingly. I don’t want my son to think naps are a bad thing, and I don’t want this girl to think she gets anything she wants.

That t-shirt summarizes an awful lot of what is wrong with the debt/consumer society. Could you imagine what kind of values that little girl is going to have if she continually sees her parents whipping out the credit card to buy her every little toy (now) or shoes or makeup (later)? She’s going to be a financial wreck when she finally goes out on her own. The saddest thing is that her parents probably think they are being nice. There is a saying that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” If a parent thinks they are being nice to a child by giving in to their every desire – giving them a “perfect childhood” – they are laying the groundwork for the road to (financial) hell.

So what would you put on a t-shirt? Would you wear this one:

how to be rich
step 1: spend less than you earn
step 2: repeat step 1

It’s not funny, because I couldn’t think of anything clever, but give me some ideas – there has to be a cute or clever way to get this message across. “My piggy bank can kick your piggy bank’s a**?”

What’s the slogan for your t-shirt?

17 Replies to “I want it. You buy it. Any questions?”

  1. I think it’s time for you to have a Cafe Press store. If not, I’ll have to take your ideas!


    Mine says ‘Got Tap Water?’

    I bought the font and everything. Just never got around to opening the store.

  2. How about “Is that your billfold in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?’ Kinda long….

  3. Mine would say:

    I have less money than you think I do.

    But someday it will say:

    I have more money than you think I do.

  4. I like the piggy bank one, I would definitely wear that lol. I always toyed with the idea of making shirts and selling them on money socket. I wanted to do one that said “I *heart* ROI”. or “Kiss me I’m frugal.” How about, “I spend all my money on my 401K”… “I spend less than you” “Brip Blap Rules”. Just some thoughts 🙂

  5. I have a T-shirt that reads “I LOVE MALAYSIA” and I keep getting weird looks from passers-by. Seriously, what’s wrong with wearing such a T-shirt when I really do mean it?


  6. I heard this “funny” comment from a rich mother once: her boys were misbehaving and she told them they should stop or she would punish them by making them wear GAP clothes…. They really didn’t like it and started to cry ;o)) Ok, kind of funny and sad at the same time… I think they wore only designer clothes (3 and 5 year olds)

  7. Dang – when I put Gap on my son I feel like I’m dressing “up”! lol

    (Gap from yard sales lol my favorite)

  8. Just to see if anyone subscribed to comments here – I’m stealing ALL of your ideas for my Cafepress store 🙂

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