I've always been of the "Money doesn't grow on Trees" camp, my thought is that if you want something, you have to earn it. My kids realize that "nothing in life comes easy". At least not for everyone... and not for us.
Growing up I didn't learn how to budget, I didn't understand how "money worked" (or didn't for that matter) I just knew that my (mostly single) mom worked hard and we never, ever, had enough money to go around. With 3 kids depending on her, she had to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I saw that for her, that was no easy task, but she managed it one way or another, most of the times anyways.
When Dh & I were very young, married & with a new baby, we really didn't have any idea how, or where to start with a budget. We lived & we learned. We lived paycheck to paycheck and were of the "live in the moment" camp at the time. If we wanted something, we bought it, we ordered in food way too much, ate out too much, and bought too much "stuff" on a whim. I really wish I knew then what I knew know, but that's life, right? One thing I did know is that I never wanted to have to depend on anyone else if we ever got into a mess and I never wanted my kids to go without.
So I share with my kids - our budget, our income, our goals, where the money goes, how much life costs, who & why we give, why we have a sponsor child and why he depends on us, etc... they know life is expensive and just because we have money in the bank, it doesn't mean that it's a "Free for All". We have a fully funded emergency fund for Emergencies. We have nicely padded savings fund for a house - someday I hope! We budget carefully, we work to earn $$ for the "extras" and we give to others because we are blessed. We don't have a high income, far from it, but we live within our means and don't stray or go into debt for 'stuff'. I'm not worried about keeping up with anyone!
The kids have chore charts and each time they complete a chore, they get a hole in their punch card, then when they "fill a row" they earn $5.00. They're quite happy with this arrangement. Maria especially as she plows through these charts and keeps those $5.00 bills flowing her way!
Well, a few months ago she knew that she was going to want the new Pokemon Moon game but wasn't really keen about waiting until December to hopefully receive it for Christmas. The game is pricey and comes in at $56.50 after taxes. Now, for most of us $56.00 isn't a massive amount of money, but I do know adults who don't have this free in their account, nevermind children!
So when Maria told me this morning that she wanted to pre-order her Pokemon game as she had reached (actually surpassed it!) her savings goal a few weeks early, I was quite proud of her! She had worked for her money and earned enough to purchase what she wanted! She kept her "eyes on the prize!". She handed me over the money and I passed her my Visa Debit. She happily entered the info (yes, I told you, my kids understand money, cards, etc..) onto her 3DS and has paid, preordered & downloaded the game! It's not released until November the 18th, but she's excited & waiting for the release!
Mya is more of the "I'd rather buy this pretty bauble now and ask for the expensive toy for Christmas", and that's ok too for now. She knows if she has money that she's earned, she's allowed to spend it, but she can't expect to buy big ticket items like Maria if she'd rather have something "now", rather than later. And she gets that. Not everyone is a "saver", but I hope in time she'll save a bit more as "instant gratification" is hard to resist for little ones! For anyone sometimes!!
I'm very proud of Maria and glad that she was able to earn & save enough for her new game! And on that inspiring note, I need to figure out my budget & goals for November!
Are your kids savers or spenders?
Do you share your budget & savings goals with your kids?