Money

bobba

When is it a good time to teach your children about money?
Along with many, many people around the globe, we have had to tighten our belts.

Christmas was rather more low key this year, ‘luxuries’ are out of the shopping basket and hubby and I very rarely eat a meal out.
To be truthful, it’s been an eye opener. I have enjoyed not frittering money on ‘stuff’. It has actually served to make me quite ashamed of the la-de-da way we almost threw cash around in the ‘good times’.

Household bills are sometimes a struggle so we try to be as energy efficient as possible.
Car fuel bills are rising, so we try to walk as often as we can.
And even though is really stretches us, we try to save.

And yet in the midst of this monetary maelstrom, we have decided to start giving our 6-year-old pocket money.

As a parent I think it is imperative that I teach my children to be cash wise.
I see so many young people leave their seat of learning and head off into a life of work – in debt.
Imagine that? In debt before you’ve even clutched your first payslip to your chest?

I do not want that for my children. I want them to understand that you can have the good things in life, but you need to be responsible with money first and then the rewards will follow.

Sure credit seems exciting and instant and boy wouldn’t it be great to bring that huge TV home right now, today, no waiting, no paying out?
But you do pay out in the end. And what’s wrong with waiting anyway and getting that buzz of satisfaction that you’ve saved up for this wonderful thing?

And then maybe, by the time you’ve saved up for it, you’ll have had time to think and actually you don’t want that big TV you want something else and buying that TV would have been a big waste of money.

So, on his sixth birthday, we told Daniel he would start receiving pocket money – £2 a week.
BUT mummy and daddy would no longer be treating him to the ‘little things’. If he wants anything – new book, stickers, a magazine, chocolate – he has to buy it himself.

And he has been brilliant with it. It has really made numbers come to life for him as he works out how much he will have if he saves for a year and what he could buy with it and how much more he will have than mummy and daddy (which is already climbing as he had some money from relatives for his birthday too!)

Of course, there is always the danger that it will be thrown away on junk that will last all of 2 days before it falls apart/gets lost/falls out of favour.
But those are lessons he has to learn too.

However, like most of us, money was burning holes in his pocket, so he has made his first purchase.
That rather magnificent model at the top of the page? That is a character from Star Wars (oh how he loves Star Wars) called Boba Fett and it’s crafted from nuts and bolts and bits of machinery and chains and suchlike and we stumbled on him at a stall in town recently.

Dan fell in love with it.

He asked the stall holder how much it was: £40 – rather a lot for a little boy.
Will I still be able to buy the marbles I wanted, Dan asks me. Will I have enough left over? I say I’m not sure but he is determined to buy that model so he rifles through his wallet, counting out his money.

The stall holder is clearly impressed and is smiling a big warm smile in my son’s direction.
“Is this your own money son?” he asks him and Dan silently nods his head, still counting out his notes and coins.
So the stall holder says: “I tell you what, how about I knock it down to £35 so you have some left over to buy those marbles?”

Dan came away with both his model and his marbles that day, and I came away with a great feeling of pride and achievment and a restored faith that, especially in bad times, the kindness of strangers is the greatest wealth of all.

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51 Responses to Money

  1. Vodka Mom says:

    I love that story. There are so many things that we teach our children- some are intentional, and some are incidental. However, the very important lessons that are learned involve kindness, love and empathy. well done.

  2. Vodka Mom says:

    I love that story. There are so many things that we teach our children- some are intentional, and some are incidental. However, the very important lessons that are learned involve kindness, love and empathy. well done.

  3. Laura says:

    That's lovely.I am much better now with money, but used to be terrible. I will definitely be following your example when my two are a little older!

  4. Laura says:

    That's lovely.I am much better now with money, but used to be terrible. I will definitely be following your example when my two are a little older!

  5. DC Urban Dad says:

    I can remember things being so much sweeter when I bought them with my "own" money then when my parents bought them.

  6. notSupermum says:

    I have been trying to educate my girls about money, and one of the successes has been to give my eldest daughter a monthly allowance for clothing/toiletries, etc. I still buy her winter coat, shoes and school uniform but she has to buy everything else out of her allowance.At first we had some problems where she spent half of it on shampoo, but on the whole she has learned how to budget and be sensible with it. I think teaching your son to manage his money will do him good, he will learn so much from it and when he's older he will already have some financial skills.

  7. notSupermum says:

    I have been trying to educate my girls about money, and one of the successes has been to give my eldest daughter a monthly allowance for clothing/toiletries, etc. I still buy her winter coat, shoes and school uniform but she has to buy everything else out of her allowance.At first we had some problems where she spent half of it on shampoo, but on the whole she has learned how to budget and be sensible with it. I think teaching your son to manage his money will do him good, he will learn so much from it and when he's older he will already have some financial skills.

  8. Aah, lovely, lovely story, Agreed with all that you said about Value of money. We have come pretty much I want want want society, and expect everything NOW. Nice values to teach Tara. Anyway, I like Supermum have awarded you over at mine. Some new bling for your new blog. x

  9. Aah, lovely, lovely story, Agreed with all that you said about Value of money. We have come pretty much I want want want society, and expect everything NOW. Nice values to teach Tara. Anyway, I like Supermum have awarded you over at mine. Some new bling for your new blog. x

  10. Dave Fowler says:

    What a great story. The stall holder was brilliant. I bet you could have kissed him for making your son’s millennium (falcon) – See, I can make Star Wars jokes!Seriously I got a bit choked reading that bit where the guy asked your son if it was his own money. Clearly the guy remembered what it was like to be a little boy. Cutting his profit margins like that in these tough times is pretty damn decent.I love the approach you’re taking here. We tried it a while ago and failed. We’ll try again after reading this.

  11. Dave Fowler says:

    What a great story. The stall holder was brilliant. I bet you could have kissed him for making your son’s millennium (falcon) – See, I can make Star Wars jokes!Seriously I got a bit choked reading that bit where the guy asked your son if it was his own money. Clearly the guy remembered what it was like to be a little boy. Cutting his profit margins like that in these tough times is pretty damn decent.I love the approach you’re taking here. We tried it a while ago and failed. We’ll try again after reading this.

  12. Maternal Mirth says:

    My sons would have blown their money on candy before they even saved up $5 … Be proud of your little Warren Buffet 🙂

  13. Maternal Mirth says:

    My sons would have blown their money on candy before they even saved up $5 … Be proud of your little Warren Buffet 🙂

  14. Tricia says:

    I love this post. We've been wondering how to begin this with our son within the next year or so, and I hope you'll share more of your experiences as time goes on. And the stall holder…let's just send him a virtual hug. He sounds brilliant.

  15. Tricia says:

    I love this post. We've been wondering how to begin this with our son within the next year or so, and I hope you'll share more of your experiences as time goes on. And the stall holder…let's just send him a virtual hug. He sounds brilliant.

  16. Hadriana's Trea says:

    Absolutely agree Tara. Must do that with our children. I've been thinking about doing it for ages and must really try and do it in 2009. Good post and thank you for your lovely comments over at mine. I've recommended your Blog to Fit to another blogger. I'm trying to diet on my tod but if that doesn't work…I'm thinking about doing Blog to Fit. I'm just worried it will completely turn me into a complete blog addict….:)!

  17. Hadriana's Trea says:

    Absolutely agree Tara. Must do that with our children. I've been thinking about doing it for ages and must really try and do it in 2009. Good post and thank you for your lovely comments over at mine. I've recommended your Blog to Fit to another blogger. I'm trying to diet on my tod but if that doesn't work…I'm thinking about doing Blog to Fit. I'm just worried it will completely turn me into a complete blog addict….:)!

  18. Avlor says:

    What an fabulous story! (And a good introduction to haggling – if you look at it in the right light.) Good for you starting to teach him about money now. (Tell your son that it's one super spiffy model of Boba Fett.)

  19. Avlor says:

    What an fabulous story! (And a good introduction to haggling – if you look at it in the right light.) Good for you starting to teach him about money now. (Tell your son that it's one super spiffy model of Boba Fett.)

  20. Potty Mummy says:

    You've inspired me Tara. We've been meaning to start Boy #1 on pocket money since Christmas; will now get round to it tomorrow!

  21. Potty Mummy says:

    You've inspired me Tara. We've been meaning to start Boy #1 on pocket money since Christmas; will now get round to it tomorrow!

  22. Tara says:

    Wow! Judging by some of these comments there are going to be quite a few very happy children over the next few days!@DC Urban Dad: Nail. On. Head. My son actually polishes that model most nights now – he'd never have done that in a million years if mummy had forked out! @notSupermum: An allowance is a great idea. They need to understand that clothing/toiletries, etc don't actually grow on supermarket trees and mummy just goes in and plucks them off! Obviously, that only happens with women's shoes . . . And, am over right away for my bling! @A Confused Take That Fan: "We have come pretty much I want want want society, and expect everything NOW" – you are so right and I hate that. @Dave: I can't believe you made a geek joke. I'm so proud!Tricia/Dave: Am sending that man a cyber hug right now . . .@Hadriana's Treasures: We would LOVE to see you at Blog to Fit HT. You don't have to 'do' anything or commit to anything. Well except maybe poking fun at Dave there a little bit for the fun of it. We're just there to offer support and a bit of fun.@Avlor: He knows exactly how spiffing that model is. He's tells everyone he meets about it! This morning he was boring the 70-odd-year-old lollipop man. @Potty Mummy: Best of luck with it. I'm sure your boy will be a star. xRemember to tell him it was Auntie Tara's idea . . . !

  23. Tara says:

    Wow! Judging by some of these comments there are going to be quite a few very happy children over the next few days!@DC Urban Dad: Nail. On. Head. My son actually polishes that model most nights now – he'd never have done that in a million years if mummy had forked out! @notSupermum: An allowance is a great idea. They need to understand that clothing/toiletries, etc don't actually grow on supermarket trees and mummy just goes in and plucks them off! Obviously, that only happens with women's shoes . . . And, am over right away for my bling! @A Confused Take That Fan: "We have come pretty much I want want want society, and expect everything NOW" – you are so right and I hate that. @Dave: I can't believe you made a geek joke. I'm so proud!Tricia/Dave: Am sending that man a cyber hug right now . . .@Hadriana's Treasures: We would LOVE to see you at Blog to Fit HT. You don't have to 'do' anything or commit to anything. Well except maybe poking fun at Dave there a little bit for the fun of it. We're just there to offer support and a bit of fun.@Avlor: He knows exactly how spiffing that model is. He's tells everyone he meets about it! This morning he was boring the 70-odd-year-old lollipop man. @Potty Mummy: Best of luck with it. I'm sure your boy will be a star. xRemember to tell him it was Auntie Tara's idea . . . !

  24. Turf Dad says:

    You are very wise young Tara. The force is strong with you. You must have that passed it on to Dan. Nice how he used that Jedi mind trick on the stall holder.

  25. Turf Dad says:

    You are very wise young Tara. The force is strong with you. You must have that passed it on to Dan. Nice how he used that Jedi mind trick on the stall holder.

  26. Captain Dumbass says:

    That was a great story. I grew up with parents who still don't know how to handle their own money so I want my children to learn the importance of money from an early age.I knew who that picture was of right away. Good choise, Dan.

  27. Captain Dumbass says:

    That was a great story. I grew up with parents who still don't know how to handle their own money so I want my children to learn the importance of money from an early age.I knew who that picture was of right away. Good choise, Dan.

  28. Tara says:

    @Turf Dad/Captain Dumbass: There is some geekery going on here guys – I love it!

  29. Tara says:

    @Turf Dad/Captain Dumbass: There is some geekery going on here guys – I love it!

  30. that girl? says:

    Bless the stall holder! Stories like that make you smile. I remember saving my pocket money up for a pine framed mirror in Marks and Spencers.. and I only got rid of it when I moved in here!I know you have lots of bling and this one already but I couldn't not nominate you so make room for another on your mantlepiece honey!

  31. that girl? says:

    Bless the stall holder! Stories like that make you smile. I remember saving my pocket money up for a pine framed mirror in Marks and Spencers.. and I only got rid of it when I moved in here!I know you have lots of bling and this one already but I couldn't not nominate you so make room for another on your mantlepiece honey!

  32. Tony says:

    I have to admit that when I first saw this post all I kept thinking was "I want that…I want that…I want that…I want that…"

  33. Tony says:

    I have to admit that when I first saw this post all I kept thinking was "I want that…I want that…I want that…I want that…"

  34. Patricia says:

    Very nice post and a great story. It is so important to teach your kiddos now and that they make a few mistakes along the way. Those mistakes are vital, as I have one child who can not use money at all well and will be leaving university with a great deal of debt – she just could not grasp the concepts until it becomes painful and she has nothing to eat some weeks.My current problem with the re balancing of the economy right now is that I still want to go out to eat to keep Juan and Matthew's families with income. They own restaurants – so how do I help the small business local guy or gal with the few discretionary funds that I have left?

  35. Patricia says:

    Very nice post and a great story. It is so important to teach your kiddos now and that they make a few mistakes along the way. Those mistakes are vital, as I have one child who can not use money at all well and will be leaving university with a great deal of debt – she just could not grasp the concepts until it becomes painful and she has nothing to eat some weeks.My current problem with the re balancing of the economy right now is that I still want to go out to eat to keep Juan and Matthew's families with income. They own restaurants – so how do I help the small business local guy or gal with the few discretionary funds that I have left?

  36. Tara says:

    @That Girl: God bless you and your M&S mirror! And I never ever tire of bling – especially from friends x@Tony: I'm afraid he sleeps with it next his bed at all times. He's bite your arm off at the elbow if you tried.

  37. Tara says:

    @That Girl: God bless you and your M&S mirror! And I never ever tire of bling – especially from friends x@Tony: I'm afraid he sleeps with it next his bed at all times. He's bite your arm off at the elbow if you tried.

  38. DJ Kirkby says:

    What a beuatiful story!!! Our N3S gets a teensy bit of pocket money each week 50p and out of that he has to put 10p away in his bank. Are we being tight or just teaching him to save? I say the latter.

  39. DJ Kirkby says:

    What a beuatiful story!!! Our N3S gets a teensy bit of pocket money each week 50p and out of that he has to put 10p away in his bank. Are we being tight or just teaching him to save? I say the latter.

  40. Welsh Girl says:

    OK, I'm going to sound all curmudgeonly but your six year old has FORTY POUNDS!! I haven't seem that much cash for years and thought 50p was money beyond counting when I was six (I remember my godfather gave me a moneybox with 50p in it and I thought I was set for life).

  41. Welsh Girl says:

    OK, I'm going to sound all curmudgeonly but your six year old has FORTY POUNDS!! I haven't seem that much cash for years and thought 50p was money beyond counting when I was six (I remember my godfather gave me a moneybox with 50p in it and I thought I was set for life).

  42. CK Lunchbox says:

    We've been trying to teach the older kids about money and I think they've caught on because they've been taking advantage of the younger ones as a result. They ask to borrow their tooth fairy and birthday money and the younger ones, thinking it to be a lesson in sharing, are happy to oblige. Then there is grandma factor. The other day the girls wanted to spend their Christmas money and Grandma tagged along. Every item they chose was greater than the amount of money they had, but Grandma, who already blew more cash on them for gifts then even we did, jumped in to supplement their shortfall. Kind of like the 700 billion bail out in the US.

  43. CK Lunchbox says:

    We've been trying to teach the older kids about money and I think they've caught on because they've been taking advantage of the younger ones as a result. They ask to borrow their tooth fairy and birthday money and the younger ones, thinking it to be a lesson in sharing, are happy to oblige. Then there is grandma factor. The other day the girls wanted to spend their Christmas money and Grandma tagged along. Every item they chose was greater than the amount of money they had, but Grandma, who already blew more cash on them for gifts then even we did, jumped in to supplement their shortfall. Kind of like the 700 billion bail out in the US.

  44. kirsty815 says:

    Awww how nice of him to knock off a fiver so he could get his marbles. Glad he had a great day.We give Meggers all our change, she keep it in an oversized Crayon piggy bank, and then we cash it in and she puts it in her bank. I may try the pocket money idea though, great idea!

  45. kirsty815 says:

    Awww how nice of him to knock off a fiver so he could get his marbles. Glad he had a great day.We give Meggers all our change, she keep it in an oversized Crayon piggy bank, and then we cash it in and she puts it in her bank. I may try the pocket money idea though, great idea!

  46. Tara says:

    @DJ Kirkby: That’s a great idea getting them to put some of it away. I wish someone had taught me that when I was younger. I didn’t have a savings account until I was about 25!

    @Welsh Girl: I know, a 6-year-old with £40. Sounds totally outrageous!
    But his birthday is just weeks before Christmas and a couple of relatives gave him money for his birthday and the same at Christmas – hence that hefty amount burning holes in his pocket.
    I tried telling him it was money for his new school shoes but he’s of an age now what that just doesn’t wash!
    “I remember my godfather gave me a moneybox with 50p in it and I thought I was set for life” – I think more children should be bought moneyboxes and taught how to save. You know what they say, look after the pennies . . .

    @CK: Oh don’t even get me started on the grandma factor. Every year I’m all ‘don’t spend a lot please. If you want to spend more put it in their savings accounts’.
    Of course come Christmas morning she’s ‘I couldn’t resist those’ or ‘it was so cheap I couldn’t not buy it’ or ‘I just wanted to see the look on his/her face when they opened it’.
    Darn you grandmas!

    @Kirsty: Hey there and welcome. Great to have you here.
    We have also started doing the coppers in a moneybox thing. Only trouble is our 3-year-old keeps playing with it and counting it and putting it in her underwear draw (don’t ask! all her favourite stuff ends up in there!)

  47. Tara says:

    @DJ Kirkby: That's a great idea getting them to put some of it away. I wish someone had taught me that when I was younger. I didn't have a savings account until I was about 25!@Welsh Girl: I know, a 6-year-old with £40. Sounds totally outrageous!But his birthday is just weeks before Christmas and a couple of relatives gave him money for his birthday and the same at Christmas – hence that hefty amount burning holes in his pocket.I tried telling him it was money for his new school shoes but he's of an age now what that just doesn't wash!"I remember my godfather gave me a moneybox with 50p in it and I thought I was set for life" – I think more children should be bought moneyboxes and taught how to save. You know what they say, look after the pennies . . . @CK: Oh don't even get me started on the grandma factor. Every year I'm all 'don't spend a lot please. If you want to spend more put it in their savings accounts'. Of course come Christmas morning she's 'I couldn't resist those' or 'it was so cheap I couldn't not buy it' or 'I just wanted to see the look on his/her face when they opened it'.Darn you grandmas!@Kirsty: Hey there and welcome. Great to have you here. We have also started doing the coppers in a moneybox thing. Only trouble is our 3-year-old keeps playing with it and counting it and putting it in her underwear draw (don't ask! all her favourite stuff ends up in there!)

  48. Mom/Mum says:

    great GREAT story Tara. I always remember how grown up and in control of a little thing in my little life I felt when I got pocket money. I still have the 'big' bike I saved up for – the first 'expensive' purchase I squirreled my pocket money away for, and I won't get rid of it, because I exercised an enormous amount of self-control to get it.I've found saving for the things I'd like, satisfying ever since. I hope I can teach my kids the value of pocket money and saving too…

  49. Mom/Mum says:

    great GREAT story Tara. I always remember how grown up and in control of a little thing in my little life I felt when I got pocket money. I still have the 'big' bike I saved up for – the first 'expensive' purchase I squirreled my pocket money away for, and I won't get rid of it, because I exercised an enormous amount of self-control to get it.I've found saving for the things I'd like, satisfying ever since. I hope I can teach my kids the value of pocket money and saving too…

  50. GreenJello says:

    Love this post. The best lessons learned in life are about kindness and love shown to someone else.

  51. GreenJello says:

    Love this post. The best lessons learned in life are about kindness and love shown to someone else.

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