Monday, February 23, 2009

Teaching Kids to Save

Some people are just more willing to hoard money and some people are just, by nature, more willing to fritter it away.

So parents do what they can to teach. Sometimes they enforce rules about savings, so that the rules will overcome the child's lack of knowledge, and then later he can discover how much he's amassed and can buy. Woo hoo -- he didn't spend it all on TicTacs, one pack a week, and now he's got $15 to buy a DVD. Or yee-haw, Dad wouldn't let him spend $15 per week on the DVDs, and now he's got $250 to buy a bicycle.

OR, sometimes, parents let their children learn the lesson the hard way. Maybe the child is allowed to spend the money in a way that the parent knows is unwise. But then el-Kid has no money later when there's something pricier he desires. That is, theoretically, when el-Kid learns the pain of frittering instead of saving.

But here's the booger.

What happens when the kid isN'T consumeristic enough to ache over that expensive thing he can't have? Hey! He didn't learn the lesson. He was supposed to learn "oh, this was a mistake; I shouldn't've spent my money on candy and $1 toys." But if he thinks "no biggie to do without the iPod for another several years" then where is the lesson?

Maybe Mom's NO-YOU-CAN'T-SPEND-IT is the only way for some kids...

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