As parents, we often want our kids to be kids and not worry about things. I know that is my feeling. However, I grew up with a Dad who believed all else aside, his kids would understand the value of a dollar. I watched him pay bills, I listened to the how and why when he divided up his yearly bonus (fun AND savings), I willingly put birthday money in my savings account and no matter how few hours I worked some weeks… a minimum of 10% of each paycheck made its way into my savings account.
I didn’t realize how amazing all of this was until I walked away as a college graduate only $3,000 in debt. I paid it off in 6 months AND bought my first car while I was at it! Thanks Dad!
These are things I have tried to pass on to our children. They know we don’t always want to go to work, but understand why we do. They put money in the bank. They understand how to figure in tax. They even high-five me when we pay things off (car, mattress, etc…).
This week it hit me just HOW much they are paying attention. My youngest is my shopping helper. He is learning to read labels and loves to help cash me out. I doubted he was watching prices though.
We were at one of our favorite year-round vegetable stands. He helped pick out corn, cherries, melon… Then he wandered away. Next thing I knew I heard: “MOM!! Look! $1.00 for bananas! ONE DOLLAR!! We love bananas and you need them for your smoothies!!”
My brain didn’t even process the sale when I told him he could grab them. Back at the house I was unloading, washing, cutting and putting away all of our loot. Those bananas? There were TEN in that basket! 10 perfectly ripe for freezing smoothie bananas. Talk about a deal!
The moral of my story is simple. OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING. They learn from our example. What we buy, what we eat, how we spend, how we treat ourselves and others… They see it all and they soak it up like little sponges. Let them in. Let them learn. I find that the more they are involved, the less we battle. It is a win-win all around.