What are you teaching your kids?
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|Mon, 05-26-2003 - 7:58pm|
I was just looking at some newcomers posts and was thinking about how alike we all are. I suspect none of us would have gotten into our debt messes if we had been taught how to use credit wisely. I almost typed there "if we had been taught how to budget and manage money" but then I changed my mind, because in fact I have accounting training and can budget and manage money just fine, millions of dollars worth in fact, so that's not the problem. Before credit cards came into our lives I bet we all budgeted and managed money just fine, we had no choice but to, and if we screwed it up we learned the hard way what the consequences were and couldn't and didn't bail out the situation with a credit card...
Anyway, before I start ranting about credit card companies and their marketing ploys I had better just get back to my question (but oh my blood boils when I think of what they do and where they want us! Did you know people who pay off their credit card balances each month are called "deadbeats" in the credit card industry?).
Okay, back to it. What do you plan on teaching your kids about credit cards, about budgeting, about money?
My daughter age 4 got a cash register for Christmas. It had two toy credit cards with it. I took them and gave her toy cash and coins. I still have the toy cards in my desk. Occassionally she asks for them because they make an "approved" sign pop up and ding when you slide them through a slot. So I let her have them to make it go "ding" and then I take them back when she's not playing with them. I really don't know what to think about them.
So far when we go out shopping I've been using cash to buy anything we need so that she sees me using money, we always use money on our family outings too. Ocassionally I've used a debit card when it's been groceries I'm buying and I make sure to tell her that I have money in the bank and I'm just giving the cashier the secret code to my bank account. Whenever she asks for something she sees in a store or on t.v. I tell her to ask me again when it's her birthday and if she'd like that item as a birthday present I'll consider it. If it's something small she sees while we're at the dollar store, I tell her that she'll have to wait because she doesn't have any money with her and we're not here to buy that item. then next time we go out to a mall she can bring her own $2 and buy it if she still wants it. This seems to work, she did in fact wait for a second trip once to buy balloons and a balloon pump, and went back another time for some fancy looking pencils but ended up buying something else instead (a surprise for me for mother's day!). What I've been hoping to do is not have one of those "instant gratification" moments with her, where she suddenly wants something and instantly gets it. We're also making it clear to her and DS3 that Mommy & Daddy don't just run out buying them toys, we'll buy them stuff for birthdays, christmas, and the easter bunny will bring some at easter.
We're not at the point of giving allowances yet. I really don't know what to think of all that, I'm sure we'll have to tackle that issue sooner than later though. I've read Mary Hunt's book Debt Proof Your Kids, I liked it in principle, don't know if I'd follow it though.
Are you guys prepping your kids?
Edited 5/26/2003 8:13:58 PM ET by birdiecheeks