Reprinted from a Timberdoodle Catalog
How you spend your money reveals so much about you. Do you buy what you want or what you need? Do you scrimp on others but indulge yourself? Conversely, do you buy lavishly for others and only the dregs for yourself? Do you eat out often while paying the minimum on your credit card? Do you have a plan for getting out of debt? Well, maybe these questions are too personal, but your children are silent witnesses to your spending habits.
What is the take-home message they are receiving? Larry Burkett maintains that each one of us is living on a budget, however for many people, that budget is not a thought-out planned one. For the sake of your children and grandchildren, it is imperative that you take control of your spending habits. Once you feel your own spending method is sound, your work is not over until you have taught your children how to handle their money. We recommend that when feasible you allow your children to work and earn their own money; however, not with the goal they can spend it on their own wanton pleasures. Instead, the more they earn, the more of your support you should withdraw.
In our family, here is how it works. Each child works up to 20 hours a week for the Timberdoodle. Their jobs vary from rest-room maintenance, preparing stickers, sweeping, and garbage detail, to catalog mailings, alphabetizing checks, and even some computer work. For this they are paid slightly over minimum wage. Of this amount, three quarters is allocated to a special fund, and the other quarter is theirs to budget. They are responsible for tithing, and purchasing all their own clothes, gifts, magazine subscriptions, and special interest items. We still provide room and board, and all medical costs not associated with foolishness. Even if your children do not have access to a home-based business, it is significant that they earn their own money. How about hiring them to do the extra jobs around your home? Maybe they could shampoo your carpets, chop kindling, clean the rain gutters, or do a neighbor’s weeding.
The plus to this system is that our children have become shrewd buyers. A hole in their shoe that used to cause them great concern, now is tolerated for many months. Thrift shop clothes are a blessing and hand-me-downs are prized jewels! Last year they scrimped on their clothes and invested the bulk of their year’s wages in fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. In a few years they hope to sell produce and reinvest their money. They only purchase gifts after much pondering, and gifts received are greatly appreciated.
Because it is their money, there are still the bad investments. There is the bag of peanuts that a mouse enjoyed more than they did. There is also a pretty non-returnable outfit that was bought without much thought about size. A sibling enjoyed it, and that child now pays much more attention to detail!