Children, Personal Finance

So there’s no money tree in the backyard?!

We have a little work to do with our kids and their concept of money as it relates to budgeting, planning and providing for our family.

img_8435Girl child is learning about counting money in school, but boy child refers to all money- cash or coin- as “moneys”. He has paper money and circle money. Circle money is big circles, orange circles, small circles or fat, medium circles. This is US currency, mind you…so to translate, he has quarters, pennies, dimes and nickels. Each piece of money carries the same value…1. So when he counts it he has 1 money, 2 moneys, 3 moneys, etc. Not to worry, he will eventually learn how to properly count and then kiss his money goodbye.

So while they are learning about money, we have started letting our kids in on the fact that stuff costs money and that there’s a limited supply of said money. We manage that money so that we are able to have what we need and sometimes a bit of what we want. They are realizing slowly that there is no magic genie that grants wishes and that there is a price for everything…mostly that Mom and Dad pay. I tell you they were floored when I told them that we have to pay for the water we use. Total disbelief.

Needless to say, they are not pleased with this new revelation…it means they can’t just get everything they want.

Recently, I took the kids to an upscale fast food restaurant and I laugh as I type that because I know there is no “upscale” to any fast food restaurant. But this one was on the nicer end of fast food. Girl child and boy child were with me on this excursion and they both received a kids meal, complete with a juice and a surprise toy.

It had been raining like the days of Noah and his ark so I thought it would be nice to get out of the house for a bit, which is how we found ourselves at this establishment. Lunch was uneventful, but as we were finishing up there were grumblings and pleadings for an ice cream cone.

Much to their displeasure, the answer was no…mainly because they would end up sticky and hopped up on sugar and I was in no mood for either outcome. Without hesitation, my darling girl child put her hand on her hip, cocked her head to the side, slammed down her drink and said, “Are we poor?”

“Um, no, child…but we take care of the money we have so that we can get everything we need and so that we don’t run out. So sometimes that means not getting an ice cream cone.”

Still got a long way to go on this lesson…

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