We live by a number of shops. They sell everything and anything you can think of. One day walking past about thirty-two of these small stores on our way to the pizza shop JustaBXgirl tells me she wants a Frozen suitcase she sees in the window of one of the stores. I remind her that she has two rolling backpacks and doesn’t really need a new bag.
Her response was that they were old. She said she would give those away and then she would need the new one. I was torn. That is pretty much what we do with her clothes and toys. Once she has outgrown them they are gifted to her cousin. It made sense that she would see logic in her plan. Still, I wasn’t planning to spend $30 because she felt like being generous. I told her that I thought her plan was very generous and kind but mama wasn’t buying a new bag when she had two perfectly good ones at home. We were having this discussion at the pizza shop.
Her response was simple. “I’ll buy it myself.” And just last week she did just that. Ever since JustaBXgirl was a baby I’ve discussed the importance of money, earning, saving and setting financial goals. Too often money and finances is a taboo topic in our society. Sadly, that results in a lot of people growing up and not understanding how to keep money and/or how to make it grow. I’m still at the beginning stages of learning how to make it grow and I’m nearly forty!
My daughter will not have the same issues. Now, don’t get me wrong. This mama knows how to save and my credit is EXCELLENT so I’m not doing too badly BUT I wish I would have had some basic lessons a lot earlier. I teach JustaBXgirl some of the basic lessons from now. And she gets them.
It is never too early to instill financial literacy. When JustaBXgirl is gifted money she knows half of it goes into savings. She places half in a piggy bank and when the piggy bank is full we take a trip to her bank so that she can deposit the money. The other half she can use on what she wants. She has this little metal bag box that she puts money in when she’s saving up to buy something. She uses this as a temporary bank because she knows what goes into her piggy bank cannot come out. Her metal box money is fair game. If she wants a toy or a treat from the store and I’m not willing to buy it she can spend that money. If she doesn’t have enough money she can’t buy it. It’s that simple.
People look at me crazy sometimes when I tell her she has to buy things on her own. She learns the value of money and of things by having to buy them herself. There have been times where I tell her she has to buy something herself and even with enough money she decides not to buy it because it’s not worth her money to her.
Going back to the Frozen suitcase, JustaBXgirl put every penny she could into the metal bag trying to save up. A few times a week she would ask me to count her money with her. This was a great way to get her familiar with the different denominations. We would separate the money by their denominations and I would tell her to count each. I would explain the different amounts and she would get excited knowing she was getting closer to her goal.
Goal setting is important in all areas of life especially the financial side of things. Seeing JustaBXgirl being able to set and achieve her goals now makes me have confidence that she’ll be able to do so later.