Parents! Here’s a true story about a six-year-old boy and his money.
On Saturday morning Sam says to his mother, “I’ve got $7. I want to go shopping to buy something today.”
Mom asks him, “Do you know what you want?”
“No, but I really want to go shopping.”
“Well,” says Mom, “you do know that just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to spend it today.”
“Yeah, but I want to,” says Sam, counting out his money.
Dad says, “I have to go to the mall this afternoon. Want to come along and do your shopping?”
“Sure,” says Sam.
At the store, Sam looks at toys. He looks at games. He looks at books. He even looks at clothes. Then he stands next to his dad and puts his hands in his pocket.
“Let’s go home,” he says dejectedly. Inside the car Dad put his arms around Sam, who looked like he was ready to cry.
Sam took out his $7 and stared at the money. Earlier he had been so excited, but now he was totally deflated.
“I don’t have enough money to buy what I want,” he said.
Dad looked at Sam and said, “You learned an important lesson. And you’re only six-years-old. It took me a lot longer to realize that I didn’t have to spend money just because I had it.”
That night Sam’s parents talked about the “ah-ha” moment that their son had in the store. They realized that Sam was taking ownership of his money when he said, “I don’t have enough money to buy what I want.”
Sam’s parents decided to start giving him a weekly allowance, a regular amount of money he could rely on. Now Sam would have money coming in each week so he could start planning his future spending. Sam would be managing his own money and ready to start making good money decisions.
Lynne Finch helps parents teach their kids about money from piggy banks to online banking. “It’s time to teach the kids how to manage money they can’t see or touch,” says the author of The No-Cash Allowance. Follow Lynne’s common sense approach for teaching children that money is a number starting with kids as young as pre-school and continuing through high school.