Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
So, as I mentioned in the last post, I allowed my kids to have some control over their money in hopes that they would learn to budget and spend their money wisely. It was a rocky start with my daughter, but I think that she is going to get better at it, especially since she now has to wait until she gets some birthday money next month to replenish that account.
Now, let’s look at my son and his spending habits. In the past, my son has demonstrated that he likes to spend money. I have really had to work on him to help him understand the value of saving money. Two summers ago, my son worked as a counselor at a basketball camp. He was making a decent money, and I made sure that he put some of that money in the bank. Man, you should have heard the countless discussions as to why he should be able to take out his money and spend it on whatever he wanted. After all, he earned that money. It was exhausting trying to explain the value in saving money for a rainy day. If I left it up to him, that money he earned that summer would have been spent on sneakers, sneakers, and more sneakers!
Speaking of sneakers. I did let him buy one pair at the end of the summer, right before school started. He said that he was going to use them for basketball. I hope I will never forget that day. He wanted me to go with him to Foot Locker. I don’t’ know why, other than to give my opinion on which color I liked better. Anyway, he picks out the sneakers. The sticker price was around $150.00. I wouldn’t pay that much for sneakers, but hey, I’m not a teenager and he wasn’t spending my money, so go for it. The cashier rings them up and the price comes to about $170.00. He pays, and we start walking home. On the way home, he stops, takes the change out of his pocket, counts it, and puts it back into his pocket. About 30 seconds later, he does it again. Finally, I ask him what’s going on. He explains that he’s a little confused as the sneakers cost $150.00, but he paid close to $170.00. So, I reminded him that he had to pay sales tax. To which he replied, “I thought tax was going to be around 50₵”. I just burst out laughing and told him that the sales tax was around 8.75℅. Then, just to add injury to insult, I told him that now he can understand why I get so mad when he and his sister break things after I buy them. I knew that he had been listening to my lectures when he told me that he was going to get $170.00 of wear out of those sneakers.
So, last week I looked at how he had been spending the money in his “checking” account. I already knew that he spent $150.00 for some wireless Apple ear buds. Again, not something that I would spend money on, but this was his discretionary cash and he hasn’t lost those ear buds yet, so be it. But then, I noticed a trend. This kid was spending money on Uber Eats and at the various food places around his school. I had to have a conversation with this kid too. I explained that he should be eating the food they serve at school and the food at home, and not ordering from Uber Eats. I explained that it was a waste of money. Do you know what this kid had the nerve to tell me? He told me that there was no food at home. Like I don’t go to BJ’s and the grocery store on a regular basis! I was in awe and reminded him that there was food in both the fridge and in the freezer. But no, that kid doesn’t want to eat the same food every day! Does he not know that there are kids who would love to have access to the food that he as at home? What luxuries this generation has! When I was growing up, if we didn’t eat the food my mother cooked, we just didn’t eat. This generation has way too many options!
Again, impart the value of money in your kids early so they aren’t living off you for rest of their lives.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have kids, how did you teach them how to budget and save money?
When my kids were younger, I opened a bank account for them. Whenever they were given money for their birthdays, Christmas, or any other occasion, I would make them put some of it in the bank. My goal was to teach them the value of saving. I wanted them to see how much money they could save if they didn’t spend it all. I was trying to teach a life lesson.
For the most part, it worked. The account was a savings account and they couldn’t take any money out unless I signed off on it. So basically, they couldn’t spend their money unless I gave them permission to do so. Most of the time, I would not let them spend the money. That worked well when they were younger. But now that they are teenagers, its time for them to learn how to budget their money. I don’t want them learning how to do it for the first time when they go out into the “real world”. This is a good time for a trial run. With that in mind, I decided to transfer some of their money into a separate bank account where they will have access to it, without needing my permission, via a debit card. All I can say is, thank God I didn’t put all their money into that account.
I have always said that my daughter would be the one in charge of my money when I’m too old to manage it myself. She had always proven herself to be the most frugal of my two kids. My son likes to spend. My daughter likes to save, or so I thought. I went online yesterday to see what these kids are spending their money on. What I saw shocked me. I had to have a talk with each of them when I got home from work.
Let’s start with my used to be thrifty daughter. You know, the one that used to like to save money? Well, she’s the reason I decided to do a quick check on their accounts in the first place. What tipped me off was that one day, she mentioned that she was not going to transfer any more money into her “checking” account because she wanted to save the rest for college and that she didn’t want to spend it all. In fact, she was going to put her birthday money in the “checking” account to replace the money she spent. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It does until you actually look at the account and see that after three weeks there is only $18.00 left! It started at $300.00! Granted, I know that it averaged at her spending $100.00 per week, but where did that money go? Well, let me tell you what a 15-year-old girl spent it all on. First, there was the $128.00 charge at Sephora. That was for Fenty foundation, blush, and mascara. That I understood, those items will last a while. Although I would have just gone to the drug store and gotten them for much less, but that’s just me. Then, there was the $50.00 charge to Amazon. That was for a water bottle that she has been using every day and I think an outfit for a Sweet 16 birthday party. I could even understand that charge. So, we are at roughly $180.00 spend so far. Now, that still leaves about $120.00. Now I would think, this kid lives at home with a mother who keeps food in the house. This kid wears a uniform to school. So, she doesn’t need to spend her money on food and clothes. What can she possibly be spending her money on? Can I please tell you where that $120.00 went? It all went to food. Most it, about $90.00 went to STARBUCKS!!! Can you believe it … STARBUCKS!! I’m sorry, but there no way I would spend that much money at Starbucks. When I explained to her, as calmly as I could, that she was just throwing her money away at Starbucks, she explained to me that the food at school was not healthy and that sometimes she wanted to give herself a treat after cross country practice. She may have a point, I’ve seen the school lunch menu. But you don’t go to Starbucks to get healthy food … especially when there is a Wholefoods and Traders Joe a few blocks away! To her credit, she did note that she didn’t spend more than she had in the account. Lord, I just can’t.
So, if you don’t want your kids mooching off you for the rest of their lives, you better start teaching them about money early.
Now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
How did your parents teach you how to value and save money?
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.