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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Responsibility and Money

Buddy gets an allowance of anywhere between $3 and $10 a week, depending on how many of his chores he completes. We deposit $1 of that into an education savings fund. The rest he is free to use as he likes.

When we first started giving Buddy an allowance, it burned a hole in his pocket. I once watched him spend a few weeks worth of money on things he didn't even want until he was down to mere pennies.

Buddy would usually be tired of what he bought within days if not hours. He was often disappointed that things didn't live up to his expectations, yet he continued to buy cheap things impulsively.

Hubby and I weren't crazy about Buddy's spending habits. We are both pretty smart when it comes to money and it was hard to watch Buddy squander his allowance week after week.

After a year and a half home, we had quite a bit of money in a savings account we set up for Buddy. This was money Buddy had been gifted and we deposited directly into the bank for him. Buddy decided he wanted to use this money to make a big purchase.

At first, Hubby and I wanted to tell him that he couldn't. The idea of him spending hundreds of dollars on something he might not even use made us pretty agitated. But after we sat down and discussed it, just the two of us, we decided to let him do it. After all, it was his money. It had been given to him by people who love him and wanted him to use it for something he would enjoy.

We can't force Buddy to be frugal. One day he will grow up and make decisions without our involvement. We decided to let him make his own decision about what to do with his money.

But we gave him some perimeters first:
#1: Buddy could only use money from his savings account for half of the cost of a big ticket item, the other half had to come from him saving up his allowance.
#2: After he had enough money, Buddy had to do a presentation on why he should be allowed to spend money on the item he wanted.
#3: After his presentation was done, Buddy had to wait 2 full weeks to make sure he wouldn't change his mind.
#4: Buddy had to go with Hubby to the bank to withdraw the second half of the money then go to the store and part with the money himself. We wouldn't do this for him.

Buddy considered a bunch of different things, mostly electronics, before he finally decided and managed to jump through all our hoops. He is now a proud tablet owner.

There are somethings about his new tablet Buddy loves and some things he wishes were different. Overall, we are all happy with his decision. The best thing that came out of it is Buddy now knows he can save money for something he really wants instead of spending it as soon as he gets it. He has a better grasp of the benefit of delayed gratification.

He's already saving up money for his next big purchase, although he has yet to decide what that will be.

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