Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A penny saved . . .

. . . is not a phrase understood in our household.  So here’s something masochistically “fun” that I thought of.  We give our kids an allowance and I’d thought I'd like to start teaching them financial literacy.  Now, this is a concept that it has taken my husband, father, and our financial advisor years of conversations to try and teach me.  What exactly did I think I was going to be able to teach my girls?!  Until recently I thought that if you still had checks it meant that there was still money . . . OK, I’m not THAT blonde, but I really suck at budgeting, etc.  So, this is yet another one of those "do as I say, not as I do moments".  But, that’s why I had kids, so here goes . . .
What I learned about piggy banks and trying to teach three blonde mini me’s about financial literacy:
1)      The concept of a piggy bank with 4 different compartments (Spend, Save, Donate, Invest) sounds much better than it really is in practice.  First of all, within 2 weeks of getting the banks, each of the girls lost at least one of the stoppers at the bottom of the feet that keep the money from falling out.  So, we decided that we really didn’t need to put anything in the Invest area – mommy couldn’t quite teach them that concept anyway.

2)      Second, have you ever tried to convince a 4 year old that 10 dimes equals $1.  We broke Id’s allowance into 10 dimes so that she could choose how much she wanted to go into each compartment.  So after she decided where everything should go and she put the dimes in, for the next 3 days she kept asking me where her $1 allowance was.  Her sisters tried to explain it, I tried, Daddy tried.  This girl was not buyin’ it.  If she didn’t have that paper dollar, she had not received her allowance.

3)      And finally, did I seriously think that the thought of “saving up” for something in the future was going to override the immediate need for $2 to spend at the Boys & Girls Clubs vending machines?!  I think Superego has a little bit of money in her bank, but Ego and Id’s banks have never seen anything green, copper or silver in those little compartments.  In fact, I think that they both think that the Boys & Girls Clubs vending machines are actually piggy banks!!

Speaking of piggy banks, when asking your - lets call her the “eclectic” child (yes, the one who wears sweatpants even in 95 degrees) – what color bank she wants, she will ask you “do they have cow banks instead”.  Seriously, where did she pull “cow bank” out of?!  Well, much to my complete and UDDER surprise, they actually DID have cow banks.  And, her sister loved the idea so much, she got one too.  So, my plan to have each child have their own unique color bank was completely thwarted because they only make one color cow bank, but 12 colors of piggy banks.  Why can’t these cow bank makers help a mother out every once in a while?!!!!
Whew, I’m delirious.  All this money saving is making me exhausted.
Until tomorrow when we share with your our 10 hour marathon Legoland adventures with BFF Molly and her kids (this is my passive aggressive way of telling BFF Molly that she’d better send me the photos of our adventures ASAP)!

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