Plug Your Money Holes !

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The number one item that American families choose to spend money on after Required Living Cost  is that of the children.

Young children do not require that much to be happy and healthy.

Any child age 10 and above is old enough to start pitching in with chores in order to help pay for many of the additional things that are required as he gets older plus the needs. The overall basic concept of money should be taught as young as 5 . Save Some , Give Some , Spend some.  The last category for adults is bills.  Make certain even a child as young as 5 can understand he should want to give Mommy a gift for Mother’s Day or her Birthday and if he/she sees these types of expenses as his bills of early life then he will understand how things work. When a child gets older there are even more expenses for example when my son was 11 he wanted to take an extremely advanced math course (the school district allowed him to do it) the requirement for the course was a calculator that in 1997 cost just over $100 I took the cost of the item new divided it by three and that is how much of the calculator cost I offered to pay for him . He found the calculator at a pond shop for $50 with my $37.00 that made the cost out of his pocket to take the course that he wanted to take  $13.00  this $13.00 that he had to pay in this calculator also made him not loose it unlike his classmates parents who had to buy three or four of these in one year due to lost.  I applaud my son for finding the item at a local pond shop and for figuring out the cost to him was much cheaper that way (of course this was the same kid who was a whiz at math!)

This same approach as listed above helps tremendously when purchasing groceries for teens / junk food for teens  and various other social related cost associated with a teen growing up. I bought all the main groceries for the household and for the junk food I would limit the amounts greatly for example sodas come 6 to a pack in the bottles I would buy each child their favorite soda at the beginning of the week. That gave them one for each day (and if they wanted one on Sunday they had to buy the one additional) Both of my children opted to drink the soda in this way one each day for lunch and one for Saturday and then they would always buy themselves one for Sunday. If they had a friend over after school they had green tea (which I had made but alway put in the Arizona bottles and water with slices of lemon again in special bottles in the fridg. This could be offered for guest or they could share the soda but again there would not be an additonal soda boughtout of the family grocery money if they choose to share, it would be out of their own personal money. In this manner again they very quickly learn what things cost and how to stretch a dollar.

Now let’s say Junior is old enough to go off to college (instead of putting the child on an allowance / that they all seem to go over on) (I personally figured it out exactly as  I had with the groceries and the calculator) I would send a care box about every three months (this box would be full of items that the growing college kid needed  bathroom items , kitchen items etc.. I could fill the box using all coupons and getting the items free or really cheap then I would put one hundred dollars  in the college aged kids bank account ) The way I figured it was this: if they went out with friends one time per month for a movie or a meal or some drinks (if they are over 21 ) they could spend $30 on each of those outings. Have $10.00 left over for needs and still be ok with the cash I had sent and the box I sent. If they “needed” more they had to go work for it.  I had a number of friends who sent $300 to $500 per month and it was never enough no matter how much they would say they were sending for allowance the child was always back on the phone and begging for more. I did what I wanted to do to help them thru school and I managed to save for retirement. Which is the greatest gift you can give them so you are not a burden to them in your old age.

It is a wise parent who prepares their children for the future.

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