Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Money Doesn't Grow On Trees or Does It?

Or does it?

I can remember my mom and dad saying this to me many many times in high school and college.  I didn't get it until I got older. Thankfully, I married a mathematical genius who keeps my butt in check when it comes to spending. It has actually been such a huge relief. 

Let me explain.

I think it's in my DNA or something but I REALLY like to spend money. I mean get real who doesn't like it? But I can spend an enormous amount in a very short time. Then I got married. Enough said right? I remember in our pre-martial counseling learning that often the two main causes of divorce were money and sex. (SHOCKER) So, my mathmatical genius of a partner decided to start us out on a budget the second we said I do. I guess that meant I had to be in charge of the second one.


I am not even going there. Back to the budget. Of course, I said absolutely NOT. There was no way in hades I was going to have to spend only x amount of dollars and then report back to him on what I spent. Seriously? Obviously, I had it all wrong. It wasn't about being  allowed or controlled it was actually about freedom. Who would of thought? So, from day one we have been on a budget. I can say in the 7+ years we have been married I can count on one hand the times we have disagreed on finances. I can also tell you that we have no cc debt  and have paid 11k in medical bills in the last two years. I can also tell you that if you wanted to know what we spent on October 22, 2003 my mathematical genius of a hubby could pull the excel sheet from that year and tell you. I know your thinking we are crazy but once you form the habit it's truly awesome. We have a fabulous system that I think could help anyone with or without debt. I am in no way saying we have it all together with money.  Do I go without things I want? Sometimes. Do I go without things I or our boys need? NEVER. 

Which brings me to this.

Here in our castle we have been trying to figure out the best way to teach our boys at a young age to appreciate money and learn how to budget. To some this may be too young but my feeling is if they can ask for a million different things they can learn how to save and buy it themselves. Does this now mean I wont buy my boys anything. Of course not. I mean have you seen the stuff in our house? Good Gosh.

We were wrestling with some of the details. Do we pay an allowance for chores or do they just get an allowance every week? For our castle we have decided that the boys will have their chores and NOT get paid for them. This is just part of being in our fabulous family. Aren't they lucky? They will each get a dollar amount equal to their age. With each birthday they then get a raise! That way they have a consistent weekly amount and they can learn kid friendly budgeting.  Here are the four categories they will separate their weekly allowance in to. 

10% Tithing
30%  Savings 
30 % Others
30% Spending
-Tithing goes directly to our Church.
-Savings is for a long term future purchase, like a car or college. 
-Others goes to someone/something other than themselves.
-Spending is something more immediate: a movie, candy, a video game, a new bike or a baseball glove. Something they want, they have to save for but can be earned in weeks or months not years.

We sat the boys down and talked about it and they are beyond excited. Will this make them never have budget or money problems? Of course not. But in our castle we want to teach them as early as possible. Too often I see kids, and I am guilty of it myself, forget that Money Doesn't Grow on Trees. As with anything else, I'm sure we will change it up a bit if we need to but in our castle we are excited and ready to take on that six letter word that haunted me for so long. 
Do you have a budget set up and is it helping? What do you do for your kids allowance?  


  1. LOVE this post! I totally agree with the not giving them money for doing chores...it is just expected of them and that's how it is in our family too.

    We have been toying with the allowance thing and I LOVE how you are breaking it down in certain categories. I think we might do that...maybe have little jars labeled with each of the categories so they can watch the savings grow or see how quickly their spending can go... you could even tape a picture to the "others" jar of the person or service project that you are designating the "others" money to. Love your ideas!!

  2. I love your idea about the jars. I was thinking cute little piggy banks but you wouldn't be able to see the money. I am going to keep my eye out for the jars. LOVE it!!

  3. We put our kids "savings", "tithes" and "giving" money in these CUTE little boxes that I got at Staples. I think they're called the "Really Useful Box" and they are small and easy for kids to handle (not to mention cheap). They are also easy to open and close and you can see through them. You could easily tape/glue a picture or words on them for the different catagories.

  4. Not at the point where we're doing chores, allowances, etc - but we went through Dave Ramsey's, Financial Peace University about a year and a half ago. LOVED IT! We so wished we did that years ago!! Gotta love havin' a household budget - oh yeah!


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