However, they did not have enough money to buy what they wanted such as a video game, a new scooter, or a hand held electronic device. Instead of paying for it ourselves or loaning them the money we taught them how to create short term savings.
Delayed gratification is hard to master with out practice.
It was hard for my kids not to spend money immediately after they receive it, but if they want bigger ticket items, they are going to have to be patient.
When I started my Mini Money Managers Project I took my kids to the dollar store to buy things. There, they were able to practice making choices and work within a budget, however small. It was fun for a while but they eventually wanted bigger and better things that were at Target or the Toys R Us.
I realized I had to teach my kids how to make a goal, keep their eyes focused on it and achieve it.
It was around that time that my girls each wanted a princess doll from the Disney Store. They were about $15 at the time, a ton of money to little kids only getting a dollar a week. Considering how much and how often they were paid, my husband and I agreed to split the cost with the girls.
We wanted them to practice saving and not give up because it was too lofty of a goal.
I hung up a picture of the dolls in the kitchen for my little ones to see. They saw it regularly and it helped them stay focused on their goal.
When I was paying down my debt, I created a debt thermometer to keep track of my progress. Each week, as I paid my bills, I would color it in. Recalculating what I owed on a regular basis and updating that chart kept me on the path of debt reduction. When I skipped this step for a few weeks, my progress plateaued.
I remembered how well it worked for me so I tried a variation of it with my girls. Next to the picture of the dolls, I hung up a chart for them to record how much they were saving. They really enjoyed seeing their money grow and it didn’t take long for them to reach their goal.
Download a FREE chart for your kids here.
Once my kids learned to save, they also:
- Took better care of the things they bought
- Made better choices when making purchases.
- Were grateful for the things we provide for them.
What are your kids saving for?
This post is apart of a 31 Day Series on Kids & Money.
Yesterday's Post: Day 10 – Long Term Savings