As a widowed/single parent, I wanted to find a way to financially educate my children and to teach them to be savers first, not over-spenders. Like most children, mine would immediately start whining about wanting everything they saw in the stores and begging me to buy those things. So I decided to start giving my children an allowance to minimize the “I want monster" when we go to stores. But, not just any old allowance!
I explained to them that each week I would give them their allowance, but not in the form of cash. . . but a check. We would go to the bank each week, fill out a savings deposit ticket (which they do, I supervise) and deposit most of the check. They need to give $1 per week in the offering at church; they would also need to deposit, at minimum, half of the check. The remaining portion, they could cash and spend as they like.
Now when we go errand running and they come up to me and ask if I will buy them a toy or what I call an unnecessary item, I remind them that they have their allowance money and ask them if they are willing to spend their money on that particular item. The answer is almost always “No. "
Two important points: First, the reason I give them a check for their allowance instead of cash is because cash can be spent quickly and easily. A check is not really any good until you get it to the bank and cash or deposit it. This one little trip to the bank has forced them to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n their spending thoughts and habits. Especially when they look at their savings log after the bank teller has brought down their balance after adding in their deposit. Their faces just light up when they see how much money they have saved! By the end of the first year, they both had accumulated over $200.
Second point, when I asked them why most of the time they decide against buying the item, their answer is usually, “I don't want it that bad. " I was thrilled to see that they were learning what they wanted and didn't want and they weren't willing to spend money on those items! They are learning to tell the difference between their wants and needs.
With a society consumed with credit card debt, I know that this lesson with handling money will payoff for them well into their adult lives.
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Julie D. Raque
"Look at your life up till now, if you had hired someone to manage it, would you give them a raise, or fire them? If you'd fire them, then you need Coach Raque!" Visit her website to receive a free coaching session. To learn more about Coach Raque also visit http://www.bestwishesoflouisville.com