Insert a huge sigh right here…
It’s a content sigh that happened yesterday as we were leaving the mall.
This picture represents a successful shopping day for the cubs with no tears, no attitudes, and no whining! I’m convinced that this little organizer has a lot to do with the successful shopping day, so let me explain.
PB and I have been through some bad money management stuff. I’ve shared before about how we’ve never had a problem with tithing our ten percent, but our management of the other 90% was a disaster. Thankfully, we have control of our money now instead of it having control over us. So, one of the things that we realized was that we were never taught how to manage our money, and we weren’t teaching our cubs how to manage theirs. When they received money, their focus was on spending it all as fast as possible.
I started reading a book by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, called “Smart Money Smart Kids” and it changed the way we helped our kids manage their money. We don’t follow the book exactly, but our version seems to be working well.
Our cubs get paid for getting good grades in school. I know some don’t agree with that, but to us, it is their job to go to school and learn. We use their report card grades as our indicator of how well they are doing at their “job”. They get paid $5 for every A, $3 for every B, and $1 for every C. Anything lower than a C doesn’t earn any money. Each quarter their earnings can range from $8 – $40. From their earnings, we help them manage their money using the 10-10-80 method. Ten percent to church (tithe), ten percent to their savings account, and 80 percent for themselves. PB and I do not dictate what they do with their 80 percent which results in a very stress-free shopping experience for us!
When report card time comes around, before we even see their report card, they have figured out how much they’ve earned, what will be given away, what needs to be saved, and most importantly what is left for them to spend. It’s funny to watch them pause and consider the cost of an item when they are spending their money.
Here is how I’ve set up the organizer:
Each cub has three sections: Give, Save, and Spend. It’s a coupon organizer, and it’s not the best at holding money so I have to use paper clips in each section. However, the organizer itself is a good size for fitting in my purse on a shopping day.
Each cub came home with something(s), and because they are becoming smart shoppers, they gave me leftover money to place back in the organizer! For example, Cub 2 wanted new shoes, but he had to wait for another payday before he could afford what he wanted. Yesterday, he found these on sale and was able add a new hat to his collection!
The benefit to the cubs is that they are learning to take care of their financial responsibilities now, instead of later. You know, that scripture that says “Train up a child in the way he should go…” is so much more than taking your cub to church every Sunday. Teaching them how to budget, give, and save in this world of debt, credit cards, and instant gratification is our responsibility as parents.
I’m very interested in hearing about how you learned to manage your money, or how you’re teaching your kids to manage theirs. We’re always looking for ways to improve on our system. Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Living for Him!