I am a collector of ideas. I read about them. I listen to the grand things that my friends are doing. I think about them all. And then I set the idea on my shelf. Admire it. Expand upon it. But follow through? I think not.
One of my favorite money ideas is the four jars concept. You know the one. Where you give your kids 4 jars. And an allowance that can be divided by four. One jar is for impulse spending. One jar for short term savings. One for long term savings. One for charity. I love the idea of it. The responsibility. The practicality. The wisdom.
But…easier said than done.
Because in our house, money is magical. It is mysterious.
If I tell the kids I don’t have money for something – they say “you have checks in the check book.” Or that “you can just use a credit card.” Because to them, money is magical. It’s just there when you need it. Want it. The tooth fairy puts it under their pillow. The Easter bunny puts it in their plastic eggs. And Santa gives them their own version of a credit card: the gift card.
We have tried to teach our kids the value of money. That you have to work hard for what you get. That you work consistently for an allowance. That you should be a contributor to this thing we call family. But, now they think that every good deed must be rewarded.
I ask them to get the newspaper. And I am asked “how much will you give me.” I plead with them to behave in a store. And I get “if we are good, can we get a Webkinz?” Or if we go to Target. And all I need is a tennis racket and yet we still spend $200. I might get the request for quarters for the gumball machine or the tattoo dispenser. You know. Insurance. So they don’t tell Daddy about our adventure.
What my kids seemed to have learned is that money is very mysterious. It might show up. It might not. Mommy might give out money for an extra chore. She might not. Mommy might resort to bribery. She might not. My inconsistency breeds their consistency in asking. But ultimately, they know to find true money magic. They just have to ask Grandma.
I am hoping for a little magic of my own. Parent bloggers is giving away three iphones in conjunction with Capital One. And I am sure that one of them has my name on it. I mean I did what I was asked to do. All good deeds are rewarded. Right?
So, how about you? Did you get an allowance? Were you rewarded? How are you teaching your children about money? Do you have an iphone?
Theme song: The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour