I have major issues when it comes to spending money. My husband and I have had enough financial problems in the past that any purchase over about $10 makes me nervous.
So, I’ve always been very hesitant to let my eight-year-old son have an allowance because I was afraid he’d spend it all on candy and I’d have a heart attack while watching him.
That being said, I recently came across an article that talked about why it’s so important to children make their own mistakes instead of attempting to shelter them from the ups and downs of life. The article hit a nerve with me and made me realize that my controlling tendencies could have a downside.
Since my son had recently received some money for his birthday, I decided to let him spend it on his own. Normally, I make him put birthday money straight in his savings account.
He decided to take his piggy bank with $30 to Target. He stopped to look at a display of different Angry Birds toys. Most of them were in the $20 to $25 range.
I could tell he was tempted to buy one, but I kept my promise to myself and didn’t say anything. Then, he spied a package of Angry Birds pencil toppers for $4. He told me those were what he wanted, so we paid for our stuff and left.
Later that night, he called me in his room to show me his homemade version of the $25 Angry Birds set. He stacked the blocks the pencil toppers came in with a few Lincoln Logs to make a tower. Then, he built himself a catapult with Legos and a rubber band.
After demonstrating how to launch the pencil toppers with his setup, he proudly told me he had saved at least $16 with his invention. I’m still not sure if I’m more impressed by his ingenuity or relieved he didn’t blow all his money on the first toy that caught his eye.
How do you teach your children to be responsible with money?
Photo credit: MorgueFile