Carter has become quite the money saver! He has really picked up on what it means to save money and buy something that you really want! I attribute that to Jeremy and I going on the cash only Dave Ramsey approach. It took some time but the boys are really starting to understand how money works. I have to admit, the boys loved the old mama who used her debit card, because they would get little trinkets here and there, but once I starting carrying cash, we stopped doing that. It took a few weeks for them to finally stop asking. After a few more weeks, they starting asking how much items cost and what money we had on us.
When we started on the cash only system, we also started giving the boys allowance based on what items they need to get done during the day. It's some what of a points system and depending on how many items they complete they get quarters at the end of each day. These items range from personal hygiene to a few easy chores. And on Saturdays, they also are given a "big chore" that they can earn some extra money.
I have to admit, the boys do about the bare minimum to get their allowance. Most days they don't earn the max amount but it is still teaching them that the more work you do, the more money you can make.
Well, like any 6 and 4 year old, the beginning of this experiment with the charts was a bumpy one. The boys would earn, let's say, fifty cents and immediatley spend it. And then when it came time for something they really wanted, they would pout and cry because they didn't have any money. But Jeremy and I stood strong and continued to explain to them that they needed to save up for the big items.
Carter caught on a little bit faster then Evan. We purchased a Star Wars book for a friend's birthday. He WANTED it one so badly and cried because he couldn't get one. It was $20.00. Jeremy and I encouraged him to save his money. And don't you know, every time he got any type of money, he would say, "I'm going to go put this in my piggy bank so I can get that Star Wars book."
After several weeks of doing his chores and hitting up the grandparents for their extra change ;-), he had saved up enough to purchase his book. He was so, so proud of himself! And Jeremy and I were just as proud!
After earning his Star Wars book, he informed us that he wanted to buy an aquarium and a sucker fish! I wasn't too thrilled about this one but I was secretly hoping he would change his mind! Hmmm, he didn't!
Once again he saved up his money (and I pitched in my money jar too - but that is a story for another day on why I did) and sure enough, he had saved enough for his very own fish tank! We had a grand ol' time going to Jack's Aquarium and learning about how to set one up and what type of fish to get.
This is all such a sweet and fluffy story isn't it? So why did I title it "A Saving Thief"? Carter has now begun this sneaky little habit. He searches high and low around the house for ANY loose change, and once he finds it he proclaims, "Finders Keepers, this is going in my piggy bank so I can buy a ___" and he fills in the blank with whatever he is interested in at the time. It started with the fish tank. He is a smart one, that kid! Because we always tell him, that if he doesn't want to loose any of his money or doesn't want someone else to take it, he needs to keep it safe in his bank. And his argument was just that, when we told him he was finding Mommy's and Daddy's money that we take out of our pockets every night. Totally a valid argument, right? So it has made me a little bit more aware of where I put my loose change now ;-)! And he isn't "earning" quite as much as he was! HA!