By Kathleen Boucher
“If you’re saving, you’re succeeding.”
― Steve Burkholder
Are you a good role model for your kids when it comes to spending and saving money? As they grow older how do you want them to handle money? Do you want them to save or spend when items are on sale? Will they get an adrenaline rush from their effort as they watch their bank account grow; or will they impulsively spend when they have had a bad day? Kids watch what parents do. Sometimes, they decide not to be like you. Other times they emulate you precisely.
Take note of what your relationship with money currently is.
- Do you get a thrill when you purchase a leather bomber jacket [in pristine condition] for $20 at a consignment store and wear it for six years? My son bought it and absolutely loves wearing it. Figure out what makes you happy.
- Do you love eating Campbell Tomato Soup? This was a staple when I was growing up. My husband has eaten it practically every day for the last 30 years. Decide what you won’t compromise on and purchase it on sale.
- Do you save 10% of your pay cheque and put it in a savings account that keeps on growing?
- Do you go to the dollar store because they have the best deals on items you buy every week? Do you kids watch how excited you are for getting value for your money?
- Is it better to purchase a couch that is going to need replacing in a year because it is poorly made or do you purchase a sofa that will last 10 years and is currently 50% off, instead? Only you can decide. What is the best way to make your money stretch?
- Never compromise on what you truly love. Alternately, make a deal that you will purchase all of the items you need in the future at their best value!
- When you feel the urge to impulsively shop ask your best friend to hold you accountable to wait a week or two before you make a large purchase. Your kids learn this behavior from watching what you do. Savor your success each time you change your habits for the better. Enjoy a celebratory meal when you and your kids have reach a goal. It could be as simple as a soup and a sandwich. It is the happy state of mind that counts.
- Are you planning a trip at the end of the year? Calculate how much money you need to set aside every two weeks to reach your goal. Put it in a central spot so that when your children find loose change it goes into the jar. How do you think it would make them feel if they knew that they were contributing? Pretty excited?!
The idea is to help children create a habit of getting such pleasure from saving money that they do it for the sheer joy of it. Each time they make a purchase that gives them value for their money they feel proud of themselves. This is a skill that will serve them for the rest of their life.
Pat yourself on the back. You are amazing!
My thanks to unsplash.com for the photo from 1458389369569-b93849762a49.jpg