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I will be honest in this post and transparent as I am in all my posts, I hope you guys see that. I wavered back and forth for the longest time whether to post this. I truly did. One part of me thinks my life is so boring and ordinary and not to, another part of me sees how desperate I wish I had this information years ago and says “share”. So taking a leap of faith and going for it! And to those of that care less what I have to say, I’ll spare you the boring post and see you at the next recipe post.
Honesty continues. Alright, so I was raised in a large family (11 kids total). My parents were the best possible parents to us. They gave us all they knew and instilled so much in us children. However, when we got married and created our own family, I realized how little I knew about being a smart steward with finances, sigh (more like really big sigh). Oh to have the brains I have now and go back and redo things we had done. My husband was in the same boat as I and so we started this journey together. We made a ton of unwise choices in regards to spending, saving and tithing. I cringe remembering some of those choices, yikes.
Now that our children are getting older, we want to make sure that the information we lacked, we instill in our children. We want our children to grow up knowing how to save, how to tithe and how to control spending. However, we want them to learn all of this under our roof and while they are still young. So when they leave our little nest they are currently in, they fly away freely and sore high and accomplish big dreams without the bondage of debt keeping them down.
We currently use a system that has been wonderful and I would like to share with you parents if you are looking for something to try. Or maybe some of you have never even thought about these things and this spikes your interest.
Before I even continue, I used to be extremely against paying for “chores”. So those of you that are going to be shocked we do this, do let the shock set in and I truly to understand my reasoning. Yes, we are paying our children “commission” for some responsibility.
-Binder (any 3-ring binder will do)
-3 envelopes (These zipper pouches work wonderfully. The money doesn’t fall out or get lost and holds up better.)
*Envelopes labeled in three categories: Tithing, Spending, and Saving
*Savings spreadsheet, Tithing spreadsheet, and Spending spreadsheet
*Sample layout for Responsibilities and commission, and BLANK layout
Savings spreadsheet (PRINT)
Tithing Spreadsheet (PRINT)
Spending Spreadsheet (PRINT)
Responsibilities Sample (PRINT) , Responsibilities Blank layout (PRINT)
So we set up a system of things the children should be doing on a daily/weekly basis (this goes along with our chore sheets). Here is how we set up ours and yours may look totally different. You can e-mail me and I will send you an Excel spreadsheet you can edit if you would like (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you read THIS post I posted earlier, it will tell you all about how important chores are in our house and a more detailed description of the chores they do. Our children are so used to them by now, they don’t even look at the paper anymore. Makes mama Oh-So-Happy.
So we will take our boys for example. Their total is $10 a week. At the end of the week (sometimes two weeks), I sit down with the boys and they split their money.
Breaking down the money-
This is only a sample of what works for our kids at this age. The older they get and the more they do, the savings amount will increase.
Why does this even need to be done? We want our children from a really young age to understand the amazing feeling of taking money from their tithing envelope and giving it to wherever they feel God nudging him to do so. They LOVE it! And not just give it to whomever and wherever they want, really ask God to nudge them where they should give their share.
So, speaking of savings. Oh this is huge. How many young people know to save? Very little percent, I was there. It’s so awesome that we can teach our children and instill in them while they are so young the importance of saving. This will become a part of life for them.
Once they get older, they can create additional envelopes for actual saving like wedding, car, college, etc.
This is where things get interesting. We as parents spend so much money on our children. So how in the world can I get them to learn that the real world is rough? If you don’t have money to pay for something you are going to have to borrow or go into debt. Ouch.
Now that they have a spending budget, we (parents) no longer pay for their “unnecessary” spending. Example: friends’ birthday parties, gifts for friends, shoes they have no need for, ice-cream stops, food/drinks at basketball games. I am telling you what, this is PHENOMENAL. So when our boys first started doing this, they got so excited because 70% goes into spending. So their first month, one went to a birthday party took money out of spending, then he wanted to get new shoe laces he did not need and he took the funds out of spending and then few other things. He was then invited to bowling but guess what? He had no money in his spending. The money went left and right. Isn’t that how it is in the real world? Then these young people don’t know what to do so they start using credit cards and dig debt holes even deeper. He had two choices at the time, he either not go since he didn’t have the funds or he borrow money and must repay it. Let me tell you, the second month he thought twice, no three times before using his money unwisely. Of course the necessary and necessities of life we will continue to pay for them, they are our children that God blessed us with and we are responsible for them. So you sit down together and figure out where the line will be drawn. Does this mean we just close our eyes to everything they buy? Absolutely NOT! We, as parents, just help them guide and teach them about wise choices.
Our boys are already talking about the 1st car they purchase. We tell them that mom and dad will not purchase their car, they must save up for it and we will match it. When children have to work hard for something, they cherish it more. They know if they save up and have $1000, mom and dad will match that and so on. It’s in their best interest to save up.
Our children know our budgeting system and this is something they constantly hear in our home because it’s a way of living for us.
Example: For example, say our budget for back to school is $150 for the oldest. That is what mom and dad will spend. Meaning he has to wait for sales, use coupons, etc. If he wants a “cool” jacket for $50, he’s going to have to budget that in, you’d be amazed how creative they get.
So what happen when they don’t do the responsibility? Not only do they lose the money, but as you read in THIS post, these are the repercussions they have.
P.S. How cute is Ben’s Got Jesus? shirt? 🙂
Having a system like this (or however you adjust it to your family’s preferences) teaches our children-
- You need to spend wisely. There is a difference between what I want and what I need.
- Credit cards will put you in debt and bondage, and we as Christians are to be free.
- Be satisfied and content with what you have.
- You need to control where your money goes, not the money controls you.
- Money is to be earned.
Additional earning money-
Set amounts they will get for A’s on report cards, gets them to work hard for those grades. Weekly or bi-weekly write sticky notes on the Responsibility paper and add other “projects” they can work on and how much they will cost.
Once they will turn 15, we will transfer this to a bank account. By then they will understand how to keep a balance and track everything. Then they can learn how to keep a balance in their account and stay away from overdraft fees, and use a debit card wisely. And if they have overdraft fees, mom and dad will not pay for that, you have to learn!
Our oldest wants to “make money during the summer”. We are going to set up a “business” envelope for him where he will set money aside money so he can purchase the necessary tools he will need to get started. Smarty pants. He has a few “businesses” they are talking about starting with his brother, I will only support them and help guide them but let them learn how that works. (P.S. Lemonade stand or interior car cleaning at a local flea market. Ha! I’ll keep you posted how that goes.)
Well, folks, I think I covered everything. If you have any questions or if I forgot something, ASK AWAY! I don’t know all of the answers but we can try.
(P.S. Do you have a system you are using? Any tips you can share? We’d LOVE to hear them!!!)