Mar 17, 2009

Spending Their Own Money?

I think most of you already know that Joe and Miriam have paper routes and both have more money in their bank accounts and wallets than I ever do. I have been letting both of them just spend their money how ever they like. I just keep myself aware of whether they are giving the amount they need to to our church and then I just let it go. I do not micro-manage their money. Partly because they are both great at saving. Joe has (actually the appropriate word is HAD.....a little foreshadowing, for your reading enjoyment. :) over $400.00 in the bank and he has not yet had the paper route a year and during the last 9 months that he has had the route he has purchased his own Wii, his own portable DVD player, his own air soft gun, numerous Wii games, a $50.00 Christmas present for Amanda, the Ironman DVD, and the Indiana Jones DVD, plus he has all that money in the bank.

Last Saturday morning he decided to put all his money that was in his wallet in the bank. So he drove to the bank and deposited every last penny. But by Saturday afternoon, after playing air soft guns off in the woods with 4 of his friends, he decided the money would be happier at home with him. He even wondered out loud if the "bank was a safe place for his money right now." Which means he was contemplating a purchase, he wanted a BETTER air soft gun. For the first time I hesitated about him spending. But the child was obsessed. And he did say, way too many times, that it was, "HIS money," which is true, and he does have, "a lot saved," which is also true. So even though his dad said he could NOT take money out of the bank Joe spent all afternoon yesterday looking for his bank book and with my blessing went with Madeline to the bank to withdraw some money and go purchase an electric air soft gun, the spring loaded air soft gun that he already owned was a distant memory.

When they got home from their mall excursion Amanda was fairly bursting to tattle that Joe spent $149.00 on his air soft gun upgrade. To make a long story short let's just say that the new guns are currently in top of Brian's closet and Joe got in a little bit of trouble from his dad for spending that amount money and I got in a little bit of trouble for letting it happen. :) Joe laid on my bed last night while I was working on my Seminary lesson and just kept mumbling under his breath that it was HIS money and he should be able to do with it what he wants. Is that true? What do you think?

The picture I posted of him is one they took of him to put in the paper a couple weeks ago....very staged....but oh so cute :)


Melissa said...

This is a hard one! My kids don't have much income yet but it pains me when they spend what little they have on things I think is "silly". But, it is their money so I usually let them use it how they want. Usually it is a $30 lego set which is a little different than $149 air soft gun. Good luck making peace!

CJ said...

My Dad would give me an allowance for doing chores I already had to do anyway... regardless of if I got paid or not. But if I kept my room clean in addition to my chores then I got an allowance. I could also do things like clean out the horse stalls for more money.

But I had to buy my own shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, razors, shaving cream, girlie things, cat food, cat litter and dog food with my allowance. Anything that was left I could spend how I wanted. I normally ended up buying something for my dog, something for my flute, another fish or something for the fish tank or something I wanted for school.

I never spent that much on a toy, but he is right, it is his money, he earned it. As long as he gets charged for the gas in the car etc that he uses from you guys for the paper route then what is left is his. It sounds like he has been saving and not just wasting all of it so that is a good thing. Maybe just remind him of all the expensive things coming up that he will want or need to pay for and work out a plan to save so much and then let him spend the rest if he wants to.

Jenn said...

I make my kids pay their 10% to the church, 10% to themselves (savings accounts), and then they can do what they would like. I still oversee their choices because I'm the parent! If I say no then I don't care if they have enough money to buy whatever it is 10x over. Having said that, most kids don't spend their money on things that I would object to anyway, even if it isn't what I would spend the money on myself. Kids....their poor little brains aren't fully developed yet! LOL!

CJ said...

I asked Jason for a male opinion and this is what he said. (Except he was calling Brian by his last name, but I put Brian instead cause I was not sure if you wanted your last name on your blog, I know I don't put my last name on mine.)

1. It's his money
2. He's clearly shown he can be responsible by saving money and paying his 10%.

Why is this even a problem?
Grounding a kid for buying something after you let him buy 5 or 6 other things seems strange. Why suddenly ground him now? I guess I am failing to see the difference between a wii, dvd player and an air gun, the wii cost more than the gun. Is it that Brian wanted to play with the wii and the dvd but not the air gun?

Glad Brian wasn't my dad when I dropped $700 on a car stereo.
He would have had a litter of little moo-cow kittens.

Childhood only comes once, and chances are pretty good he won't have the time to hang around with friends shooting an air gun when he is busy working two jobs, going to college, going on a mission, getting married, paying for his family trying to put food on the table and make rent payments. So let the kid fart around, this might be the last chance he has!

Roger said...

My dad used to teach us that someone with bills to pay should first pay 10% to himself to savings and budget with the rest. Someone who didn't have bills to pay (the kids) should pay 30% to himself in savings (UNTOUCHABLE!) and the rest is yours to use no questions asked. A great rule.

Was the $149 for an "upgrade" of the old gun, or for a new gun? If it's a new gun, why not sell the old one on craig's list? Then the real cost is only the difference.