As parents, my wife and I are constantly doing the best we can to make sure our kids are polite, courteous, grateful, and all those other qualities that will hopefully nurture our children into positive contributing citizens once they reach adulthood. Many times, we are so focused on making sure they behave that it is hard to teach them other life lessons they will need to know to be successful, like how to handle their money. Our kids are still quite young, so we still have quite a bit of time. But, it is never too early to teach them some life lessons about how and why to save money, how to earn money, how much things cost and other money topics.
Lately, we have attempted to show our kids how waiting to spend their money (saving) can allow them to get “bigger” toys. It has been somewhat effective. In fact, they have been holding on to some Christmas money (I know it’s June), and instead of them spending the money all at once, we encouraged them to really think about what they want. Recently while shopping, they saw a bounce house that they both really wanted, but they could not afford it individually. Instead, they would need to combine their money to be able to purchase the bounce house. They both thought about it for quite some time and decided to combine their money to purchase the bounce house. So, we went back to the store and bought it.
It was our hope what they learned was the value of money from this little “experiment.” As well, we wanted them to understand sometimes you don’t have enough money to buy the things you want. Sometimes you have to find other means to acquire the money you need to buy the things you want. This time it was sharing money with a sibling. Next time, it may be doing additional chores or work to earn more money and saving up enough to buy the item they want. Just like every parenting opportunity, we have to HOPE this lesson sticks.
Stay Tuned! Next month, Bob Wilson, LAGERS Executive Director, gives us some insight on a tactic he used with his daughter that showed her how to be more financially aware and how sometimes you have to put in a little extra work to get the things you want.