Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Yesterday, while driving home from the grocery store with Steve, we were talking about the amazing-ness of technology and what it might be like for our kids. 

Our conversation started because I had been transferring money from one account to another while walking through the parking lot on my phone.  Isn't that amazing?!  I was telling Steve how astounding I found it and mentioned that it won't be astounding to our kids, it'll just be how things have always been.  Which is crazy in and of itself.

Or maybe it'll be even crazier.  Probably crazier.  Steve said he thought they would be able to just walk straight out of the grocery store after filling their carts because there would be a scanner on the way out that automatically registered all groceries at once and took money from your account all on its own.

How nuts would that be?  Then he mentioned that our kids might never use money.  I mean dollars and coins, holding in your hand money.  If it really does become all automatic, what will their perception of money be?  For example, I've found it much easier to spend money electronically than with cash.  There's something about watching my "wad" of cash grow smaller and smaller that's a little sad.  Unfortunately, I don't have the same attachment with my debit card.

Making sure my kids learn about money isn't a new worry for me.  I want my kids to know how to earn, budget, save and spend their money.  One way I've tried to teach them this is by talking to them about our money.  Ever since the kids were small (okay, they're still small), I've tried to instill in them a sense of the relationship between work and money.  When we go to the bank I always talk about how Dad works hard to earn our money and the money he earns is put in the bank so that I can go there and get it (or use it if we're talking about a debit card) for things like groceries or gas.  I want them to understand that the bank is not a magic money house and my debit card doesn't magically pay for our groceries.

I wasn't sure if they understood until one day a couple summers ago.  James was 3 and we were walking through Sams Club doing some grocery shopping together. If you've ever been in Sams (or Costco) you know that they have big displays in the center section, sometimes even hanging from the ceiling. 

James when he was 3...I just want to squeeze his cheaks!

During the summer they almost always have one of those big, wooden play-sets up.  On the day of our shopping trip, James looked over at the really very cool play-set and said he wanted it for our house.  I smiled and told him that would be wonderful, but it wasn't in our budget.  He got thoughtful for a minute and then said, "I think Daddy needs to go to work on the weekends."  I was confused and asked him what he meant.  He very seriously explained that if Daddy worked more we would have more money and then we could buy it.

I laughed (and am laughing right now), but I was also proud and excited.  Even at 3 James understood that in order to have money, you have to work for it.  It was a pretty great mom moment for me.
Have you had any great moments where something you'd been trying to teach your kids just clicked?

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