Posted by Beckie | Filed under Beckie
This is my last post for Gail’s “Other Voices” blog. I am happy that I stuck to my original plan of writing for six months, but it is time for me to pass the torch to someone new.
Six months ago I made my first confession. I said that I was obsessed with my kids’ wardrobes and had the tendency to overbuy, at least for my daughter. I was attempting to use the writing of this blog as cheap (well, free) therapy to redirect my attentions toward saving money, instead of spending it. How am I doing, you ask? I’m doing “ok”, I’d say. I’m still a bit of a lookaholic (i.e. looking without buying), but I can definitely say “NO!” to myself when I need to, e.g. right now I’m on a spending freeze until the Fall lines arrive in stores. I also expect this to be a phase, since I think the cuteness clothing factor drastically decreases by age 5 (my daughter is now 3).
My second goal was to teach my “little dude”, now 6, to prioritize spending, learn how to save, and to think about others in the world at large. I set him up with three jars, and in following The Gail Way, we labelled them “Spend, Save and Charity”. He gets an allowance, receives birthday and holiday money, and sometimes receives random gifts of money for nothing much than being cute (a grandparent prerogative). I read Gail’s Money Smart Kid$: teach your children financial confidence and control, a quick read to help put parents on the right track. I attempted to find pictures books (fiction) to help teach the “little dude” about money, but in my opinion, there aren’t any that truly embrace *the* triumvirate. Attention aspiring writers and illustrators: consider writing a cutesy wootsy children’s picture book the three jar way!
How is the little dude doing? Let’s just say, he still has a long way to go (he is only 6, after all). He still complains regularly that he “NEVER” gets any toys (complete with trembling bottom lip and teary eyes), a week after receiving a package in the mail with toys from grandma, a Chameleon watering can and outdoor toys from me, and take note that there are still unopened toys from his birthday party in February. All I can do is point out all of the above, and try to keep my cool about his misguided logic.
However, when we are out running errands and so on, he is much better with understanding that the Bank of mom and dad is a finite resource. When he wants some candy from a vending machine, I point out that he could use some money from his spend jar but mommy needs to buy other things today. “Oh no that wouldn’t be a good idea,” he says. In the old days, he would have gone ahead…now he’s busy saving his own money. For what? He still isn’t sure, he is quite indecisive, and I have zero idea where he gets that from (wink wink).
Thank you to Gail, for giving me this experience, and to everyone who posted comments and kept their manners intact. I look forward to joining the (positive) peanut gallery.
p.s. After the overwhelming “Yay” from my blog post, as of few weeks ago I have a freezer and I love it! I can stock up on staples and more importantly, says the “little dude”, there is a lot of room for popsicles.