But what do you do when your child comes up to you, her heart set on an $80 dollar toy that doesn't fit into your budget?

Here's the answer from the book "Raising Children With Character" by child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger--She says, it's fine to say no to your kids, as long as you make them feel that you're being as generous as you can be. Say something like, "I would if I could; I'd give you anything. But right now, it's just not realistic."

Of course, if your kid sees you treating yourself to expensive things while they don't get what they want, they'll feel that they aren't worth as much as you are. So have the same rules for yourself as you have for your kids. Don't use the excuse, "Well, I earn the money so I can have whatever I want." Here's another way to tackle a "gimme" kid when you're on a budget. Tell them how much you have to spend, then let them pick out anything they want up to that amount. And don't feel guilty! Dr. Berger says this is a good way to show kids that there are limits in life. The name of the book again, "Raising Children With Character."