It’s a hard concept for many fully grown, functioning adults to grasp.
I know it was a hard lesson for me to understand even after “growing up” and starting a family.
Because of that, Joe and I have decided that it’s one of our priorities that we teach our girls the importance of money management, working hard for what they have, and learning how to patiently wait for what they want rather than impulse buying all.the.things.
You can imagine how well this is going over with our 8, 6, and 3 year old daughters.
To their credit, they are eager. They want to get the money and put it in the envelopes they made at church. It’s the working for it part that they are getting hung up on.
Aren’t we all?
Because I am a Mean Mom, I do make the girls work.
They have regular responsibilities that they must complete because they are part of this family and mom is actually not their maid.
Because we are a Dave Ramsey Family, they also have chores for which they earn commission. (Mean Mom rears her head again when they don’t complete their regular responsibilities – if you can’t keep your room clean and your pet fed, you are surely not getting paid for doing the dishes!)
This is what we have devised for our big girls. The preschooler is a tough one to work with, but I do convince her to help clean up toys and put away her laundry. Baby steps!
The girls get paid weekly, we keep a running total of the paid jobs they have done and how much they have earned for the week. When they are paid, they are expected to manage their money well: 10% of their earnings goes into their Give envelope, 30% goes into their Save envelope, and the rest is in their Spend envelope.
Their Give envelope comes once a month to church where they tithe that money. I take their Save envelopes periodically to the bank and deposit the funds into their savings accounts for them.
Their Spend envelopes are theirs to do with what they wish: birthday party presents for their friends, new earrings for themselves, a splurge at the Dollar Store, whatever they want. The only caveat is that that they must remember their money when we go shopping and they must have budgeted enough to cover the entire cost of their purchase. If they don’t have enough, they have to wait until they’ve worked enough jobs to make the purchase.
One of life’s hardest lessons is delayed gratification. Walking into the store and finding something that you really want to buy and leaving without it is hard! It’s hard for me as an adult, and I know it is hard for them as kids.
These are life lessons they have to learn, though. It would be a much bigger disservice to my daughters if I let them get whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it.
Learning to work hard, save money, and budget for what they want at such an early age is only going to help them lead easier, hopefully debt-free lives when they are adults with paying jobs, mortgages, and families to support. I’m happy to be Mean Mom for now, because as they say: They’ll thank me when they’re older.
Do your children have responsibilities and chores at home? Do you do allowance or commissions? Share your ideas in the comments!