Monday, June 09, 2008


Early on Randy and I decided that we would watch what we say to our kids about our money situations. When I was a kid I knew way too much about our money situation. My Mom was a single Mom raising three kids and she did the best she could. As far as I’m concerned we had everything we needed. The problem was that I was always told that we didn’t have any money. Being a kid I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know if we were going to get kicked out of the house or if that meant that we just couldn’t get the toy I wanted. Either way, as a child I thought too much about money.
A child can’t do anything to help the parent make more money. That being true, there’s no sense in children knowing the details of the money situation.
If we’re at the store and the kids want something, regardless if I can afford it or not my response is:
1. Yes.
2. No.
3. Not right now.
4. You should save up for it.

I do not tell them that I don’t have enough money for it.

What about when you’re at the store and you are buying a few things, but when your child asks you to buy something for him you say no? The kid wants to know why you get to buy something but he doesn’t.
This is when you have to remember that you’re the parent. You just say, “This is what I’m buying today and nothing else. I don’t want to spend my money on anything else today.”
That’s it. You’re the parent. You’re the one with the money. That’s not cruel or harsh. You do not involve the child in the bill paying and you don’t involve the child in the shopping unless that’s what you’ve gone to the store to do.

So, my advice is: Watch what you say to your kids about money. There’s no need to put a burden on them that is premature.


The Honorable Mrs. Cobbey said...

Good advice.

Since we're going to China (and spending a boocoo (sp?) of money or is the word just an Americanized version of beaucoup....but I digress...., we told Daniel that we were saving money to go to China. Often when we were at the store we would say, "We're saving for China, remember?"

Suddenly, that became his mantra and in every situation where money was an issue, he would remind us that we were saving for China. So in the end he learned a good lesson, which is: if you want something big, you have to save for it!

Just two more weeks and we're going being in China! Woo! Hoo!

Rachel said...

I love this advice and I've tried to stick with it. I cannot tell you how many times we have kids in children's church ask us to pray for their parents because they don't have any money.

I'll never forget one time a little girl was completely stressed out about it. She asked me to pray for her parents because they had to fix the bathroom, fix the roof, fix the car and pay ALL THE BILLS and they only had $200 in savings and that's all they had. So, I went to the mom and asked her about it and the truth was that they did have to do all of that and they were trying to figure out how to do it all, but they were fine.

This little girl had heard parts of conversations and put it together in her head and came up with what she believed to be was true, which was stressing her out.

Good advice!!

Cyndi said...

great advice, I am in the process of showing Casey how to save and spend wisely since she is babysitting. She thinks that once she has the money she can just go buy something even if it is something she does not really want.

Start World Hunger said...

great're going to put all this in a book, right? or should i start printing these out week by week?

God's Warrior Bride said...

Where was this fantastic advice when I had small children? You are my hero when it comes to parenting - how do you make it look so easy?