Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our kids finances

I told you all back in my post about jobs that I would talk about how we actually save money by paying out $40- $45 a week in job money. Well, here it is- How we deal with our kids and finances :) Are you ready??
First of all, we are very strict on what we will buy our kids. Our kids do jobs so that they can have money to buy things. We don't really buy them anything (except for the little ones because they are not old enough to earn their own money yet). We are willing to pay out the $40 a week because they are responsible for buying anything and everything that they want and sometimes need. Their job money does not just go for them to buy toys and junk that is going to clutter up their rooms either. Our 3 older kids have to buy their own clothes also. There are some exceptions to this rule- we will buy them socks, bras, panties, gloves, snow suits, snow boots, one pair of sneakers per fall/winter season and spring/summer season. There are a few other things, but I think you get the picture. Mainly, we don't buy them their everyday clothes.
OMG you are such horrible parents!!!! You won't buy your kids clothes!!
No, we're not. We are responsible parents who have 6 kids and we live on one income. Please remember we dish out probably $175 a month for our 3 oldest kids to spend on their clothes/toys. That is more than enough if you teach your kids to spend responsibly.
Here I go off on a little rant, so please excuse me and don't be offended if what I am about to say pertains to you. I feel that a lot of kids think that they are entitled to things that they are not entitled to. What do I mean by that? As a parent it is my responsibility to clothe my children, right? Right, but that doesn't mean that I need to clothe them in shirt that cost $40!! That is ridiculous and I refuse to buy a shirt that cost that much money!
This is what I see a lot when I go to the mall...... I will see a little girl who looks at a shirt and says "Oh mom, look!! I HAVE to have this shirt!" The parent will look at the price tag and say no, and the kid LOOSES IT!! Right there in the middle of the store, for everyone to see. Until, the parent finally caves in and buys it just to get them to stop acting up and embarrassing them in the store. Well, now that is really teaching our kids, isn't it? If you don't get what you want, then throw a fit and you will get it......ummmm, NO!!
If you throw a fit in this family over not getting something, you still don't get it. Honestly, I don't really have a fit throwing problem in this family. Especially with the older 3, and no, it is not because they are older. A lot of the kids I see throwing these fits over clothes are the older kids!!!
It is because I am teaching them to be responsible with their money. When you give your kids control over their money and they actually see how much money they have and how much things cost they think about spending it differently! We do NOT use credit cards in this family!! If we don't have the cash to pay for it, then we don't get it. I refuse to put us into crazy debt in order for my kids to have a $40 shirt! That is just stupid. (Again, sorry if I am stepping on some toes here. Everything in this blog is my opinion and you don't have to agree with it.)
They are in control over their money. If THEY want to spend $40 for a shirt then they are more than welcome to do so, with THEIR money. Guess what???? NONE of my kids ever buy a shirt that costs that much EVER! Why? Because they have other things they want to spend their money on and they are able to find cute clothes that are within the price that they want to pay for clothes. No one NEEDS a shirt that costs that much.
Also, when I started letting my kids have control over their own money I stopped hearing them ask me to buy them something when we went to the store. They know that they have money that they earn and that is how they are going to be able to get something from the store. Not by us buying it for them. (Exception to this is birthday time... they will sometimes show us what they want for their birthday when we go to the store.) We do get them a couple of things for their birthday so that is ok :)
This also teaches them to save their money. If their is something with a higher price tag that they want then they know they need to save up for a couple of weeks to get it :) They will also save any money they get for their birthdays or Christmas for their "bigger" purchases.
We don't live in a hole in the ground either. Two of our kids have Ipods & the other has a DS which they saved and paid for themselves! They buy their own Wii games when they are bored with what we have- and guess what??? When they want to buy Wii games they ask me to take them to the pawn shop to look for some!! Why? They don't want to spend $40-$50 on one game when they can go to the pawn shop and pay $10-$20 FOR THE SAME EXACT GAME!!! Yes, it was used before, but if you know anything about pawn shops you know that they will only buy things from people if it is in good condition! Most pawn shops wont take games or movies that have scratches.
They spend their own money very wisely! BUT if they were to spend my money, they wouldn't spend it so wisely. Why? Because it is not theirs. They do not get the concept of how much they are spending when they are spending someone else's money. Make sense?? Therefore, we save money by giving them a good amount of job money that they worked for instead of us buying things for them. Plus, they are learning very important life lessons about spending :)
Two weekends ago we went to NC for Makayla's birthday. While we were there they wanted to go to the mall. I happened to have my camera with me and I took pictures while I was there. The following pictures are actual pictures of how they shop. I didn't make them do anything, I just sat back and took pictures. At the end of the day I was actually in tears because I never realized how well they spend their money. Sometimes as a parent I wonder if I am doing a good job. Am I teaching them things that they need to know? Am I too strict sometimes....etc, but not this day, I was one proud mama this day!!!! God showed me that I am indeed doing what I should be doing :)
Here is a glimpse of our day-
The store that we entered into the mall from the parking lot was Belk. Now, having a bunch of girls they of course wanted to look at clothes.
They didn't once stop at anything that was regular priced!
They walked strait back to where the clearance clothes were.

Even Michael was helping them look for things that they might like :)

Makayla found a cute blue dress that she bought.

Gabby bought a pretty little flower skirt :)

It is also good for teaching money counting!

Mariela bought that blue shirt/pants outfit you see there to the right.

The boys waiting on the girls..... story of their lives... lol

Waiting to pay, with money in hand....
Here are their receipts- They all saved a good amount of money :)
The next store that we went to was Claire's. (Gabriella's favorite store)
While she was in there she found a little wallet that was on clearance for $6.
*For all of you who are unaware, Gabby is a purse/wallet freak! She has over 20 purses!! Anyways, she went up to pay for the little wallet and it rang up for $1 instead of $6!! Guess how excited she was!

After telling her sisters of her find, they too decided that they needed a wallet for only $1 :)
Next, on Makalya's list of stores she wanted to visit was the Disney store.
We do not have a Disney Store anywhere close to where we live so she was very excited to be able to go here.

Do you see all of that stuff up there that she is buying????

Guess what???

Most of what she bought was for someone else!!!
*Cue proud mama tears!!!!
She bought these cars for Carson, a little Stitch for Blake, and a small Stitch and Frog for Vanessa.
The only thing she bought for herself was a little plush Stitch and Kitten.

Look!!! The cars she bought Carson were on clearance from $29.50 to $5.99. Good find Makayla! The little Stitch that she got Blake was also on clearance.
Now, Gabby and Mariela both wanted to buy a plush animal too. They were on sale 2 for $15 or $8.50 each. Without me saying anything to them they decided to buy them together so they could both save $1. Every dollar counts, right??

Mariela also bought some perfume, lotion and body wash from the Disney Store.

Oh look at that- It was also on clearance! Proud mama!!
After the Disney Store we went next door to Build A Bear Workshop.
Makayla made herself a bear and bought him 2 outfits.
But what made me the most proud out of everything that they did this day was this......
They all pitched in their money together to build Michael a bear. They told me that he does so much for them and they wanted to tell him thank you. Also, they wanted to thank him for taking them to NC for the weekend!!
Seriously, now we are at proud mama sobbing! There are no word to describe how proud I was of them!!
And of course since it was for Michael they dresses the bear in a pirate costume :)
Like I said earlier, I did not stick my nose into anything that they were doing, I was just going with the flow. It is their money that they earned and they can spend it however they want to. I was so thrilled to see them living out being smart with their money without me saying anything :) Not only that, but the fact that when they had the chance to go to the mall and buy anything that their little hearts wanted with the money that they had, and ALL of them CHOSE to spend money on someone else. It makes me so incredibly proud to call these girls my own!!! I am amazed everyday at how smart and amazing they are. God has blessed me in ways I could have never imagined!! I thank Him everyday for choosing me to be their mother.
They are definitely a lot more responsible with money than most kids their age. I am able to stand up and say that I am teaching them to be wise stewards of their money and their things.
Another thing that we noticed when our kids started spending their own money instead of ours was that they seemed to take better care of their belongings. Again, I think this goes back to them knowing how hard they had to work in order to be able to buy it and they want to take care of it. They know the value of a dollar and they know that money doesn't grow on trees, they have to work for it.
Something else to note is that when we have pay day at our house our girls take out 10% for tithe and they also put 10% in piggy bank to save. They really are learning how to take care of money! My hope and prayer is that when they are older that these values will be ingrained in them and that they will make wise financial decisions as adults too!

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