Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's hard to save....

...when there are so many things you want. M is learning this the hard way. He had enough money for an iPod, briefly. After his birthday party last weekend, he had $82, just enough for a refurbished 1GB iPod. However they didn't have any of those in stock right then. In the meantime (5 days) he decided he really needed a subscription to a manga magazine. So, now he doesn't have enough money again.

We had (yet another) discussion about how his allowance takes care of his wants and Dad and I take care of his needs. Food, clothing, school supplies = needs. Toys, magazines, iPod = wants. We discussed how when he gets older he will have to spend money on his own needs. He was suprised to hear that an acquaintance of ours was out of money for the month already - I explained that meant he couldn't go to the grocery store or the gas station (without borrowing money from a friend) until the end of the month. I think that was a revelation to M.

M is just different than I was as a kid. I was a Saver. I liked having stuff, but I didn't like spending my money. I've gotten better, but I'm still frugal (sometimes even cheap). I don't feel comfortable without a decent balance in my checking account. I use a credit card all the time, but not unless I could pay for it right away.

My hope is that having an allowance will teach the kids how to manage their money while they are still dealing with small amounts. I hope they will learn to save. Actually A doesn't need to learn - he's a saver at heart. He needs to learn that its ok to spend money when you've got money - you don't have to save it ALL.

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