Let’s Talk About Money: Some Advice from Josh

Last summer we implemented a new money system in our house. It is a version adapted from this one at one of my go-to parenting sites.

We have modified the system for our house and our needs, taking in consideration all the differences we have in our house due to the fact that the kids live in 2 homes. It works fairly well for us – with a few kinks (but I’m reading a great book called “The Entitlement Trap” which hopefully will help with the kinks).

Bottom line, the kids each having daily responsibilities, and they also can get some “allowance” from completing their responsibilities. The net result is we don’t deal with our kids asking for money for all the “extras” (entertainment, toys, video games, books, outings with friends, special clothes etc.) – they have their earned money for that.

Josh has been saving his past couple of “allowances” for a soccer goalie shirt he has been dying for. It is $49 and he informs me he is about $14 short.

He asked us the other night if there were any “jobs” he could do to earn a bit more money. We told him we were sure there were, we just needed to figure out what (considering they have their regular responsibilities, plus the things that they just do because they are part of the family – we need to come up with some “above and beyond” jobs).

I was quite pleased he asked to “work” for the money, as opposed to just asking for a bonus or something like that (because he’s cute and could try to charm me).

Last night he was busy playing with a little rubber ball he got from trick or treating. He noticed that stamped on the back of the ball was the website for the ball. He asked me if we could go check the website out as he really liked the ball and wanted to see how much they were and if he could buy more.

I said, “Sure”.

Then he stopped himself. “Wait. I better wait until after I buy my goalie shirt because if I see the balls, I’ll want to buy them. The temptation is too great. We’ll only look at the website after I buy the goalie shirt – Ok Mom?”

We all laughed.

“What?” he said, “I know I’ll be tempted so I’m not going to even look. I know myself”.

And that, is a great lesson 8 year old Josh.

If we know we are going to be tempted, why even bother looking?

If we are trying to save money for something – why go shopping to “look” at something else? We can avoid unnecessary debt by staying focused on the things we really want, and not getting sidetracked by the things that we get “caught up in the moment” with.

But I think it’s an even bigger life lesson: avoid temptation.

Don’t place yourself in situations where you know you will be tempted to do something you may not really want to do. Get to know yourself and your weaknesses. Be aware of “your pitfalls” and then try to steer clear of them.

If the “temptation is too great”, then avoid it.

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