Get them while they’re young!

Its as we calculate and recount our pennies at this time of year that we wonder… ‘Would I be having this much trouble if I had paid more attention to my parents wise words as a kid.’

Some children are better at saving than others. Mast N is naturally tight frugal (wonder where he gets that from) his sisters however, not so much.

My mother has always been brilliant at saving money… maybe it was watching her have to pay for everything with less and less money that remained with me. Even my clothes as a child were home made, so were my duvet covers, sheets and pillow cases. But why? To save money. I bought my first pair of roller blades with money I’d saved from doing odd jobs for Saturday marketers at the craft market my mother had a stall on (She had a business called Seasons Knitwear)

Taking part in this experiment has begun to teach our little brood the value of what they have and what money can buy. We’ve already had the conversation this year about how everyone is a little ‘poorer’ this year than previous years, and how lucky they are that we can afford to give them what they’re getting. Many children won’t get much, others may get a lot but at what cost to their families later on down the line.

If taught this from a young age children are remarkably understanding. Presents also last longer when a child appreciates what they’re getting.  Thats just a good life lesson.

Do you remember the first time you spent your pocket money? What did you spend it on?

My first spend was nothing incredible… but it was my first taste of financial freedom. My nephew and I were about the same age growing up… we’d save our R1 (one South African rand) pocket money until the weekend to spend. Those were the days when you could buy a bottle of cola, return the bottle for some pennies and buy a stick of purple gum, a packet of crisps and packet of 3 gob stoppers with what was left. We always had 1 cent leftover… which we took to the chemists to weigh ourselves on the HUGE scales there. #ImSoooOld

I don’t like to encourage Santa lists. Its not fair if you can’t afford items on the list, for you or the child. They get their hopes up, believing its what they’re getting. We’ve told ours for years, ‘you get what you need’. (ref: Master N…2 years ago and his list item of a £150 transformer from the movie… did not end well… obviously out of our price range).

I’m looking forward to the day when banks encourage young children to have debit cards again (NOT credit cards). We had something called a ‘BOB CARD’ as children. You put the money into the bank and you could take it out when you needed it. Simples, as a very famous meerkat once said. This is no good for the parent who wants to know where every penny of their child’s money is. Sorry but you’ll both have to learn the hard way.

This understanding of money is a skill they’ll keep for the rest of their life; once you’ve spent your money its gone. It’s a lesson that some adults need reminding of as well. Master N has been very good about spending his birthday money from October. He spends a little every week, mainly on toys, as he’s worked out he gets a weeks sweets ration and some nibbles from his Nana… so really there’s no need for him to spend his money on treats. #CraftySwine #OddlyProudMoment

Between birthday money unspent and what he’s saved over the year he has about £50… not bad for a 7 year old. Maybe he’s picked up his Grandmothers frugal genes… we’ll have to wait and see if he starts his own knitwear line first though.

Remember… your never too young to start a ledger… as an adult you know its a good way of keeping track of what you spend (incoming verses outgoing), equally as soon as a child can spend their money write down their numbers, they can record what they spend over a week. Firstly they’ll have an idea of where the money went, secondly they’ll be so excited to show you the weeks ledger… good because this way you get to see what they’re spending it on as well. #ThePriceOfFinancialFreedom

Sad Parenting Fact: You can’t down a child’s purchase as rubbish or irresponsible when your spending habits are ta pot! To quote a cliché…

Be the change you want to see!

In my purses case that’s a change from a tenner 😛


4 responses to “Get them while they’re young!

  1. Great post! I have decided the time has come for my youngest to get a day-to-day bank account after watching him count his money and realising that, far from the £20 or so I thought he had, he’s amassed if not quite enough for a decent handbag, then certainly half of it!
    We struggle with getting both to earn pocket money thanks to generous (if annoying) grandparents who keep giving them money each month, but both kids are good at grasping the value of a pound because we have always encouraged both to save for what they want, whether it be a console game or a treating their dear-old-mum to a new handbag 😉

  2. Pingback: Teaching children about money saving | Tots 100·

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