Tuesday, July 2, 2013

10 things to help our kids cope financially -while still keeping them grounded

Before we decided to get pregnant my partner and I would talk in length about how we would raise our children and what we expected out of being parents. It was incredibly important to us that we didn’t raise “brats.”

We had seen so many people shower their children in presents, money, expensive technology and junk food only to have an expectation from the child for that was to be the norm and who were essentially, ungrateful.

Our lives were  fairly intense as far as responsibility went for our generation (GEN Y). I was helping around the house cooking and cleaning as part of my contributions from aged seven and  earned my allowance of  $20 for cleaning our larger than average house from top to bottom each week.  I was also responsible for taking care of my menagerie of animals.

My partner's childhood responsibilities were even tougher.He was working on his parents mango farm earning $10 a season for picking and also was going out hunting  to get dog meat from five years old. He used a  308 rifle to make his first kill at age thirteen. 

As you can imagine we don't want it quite this extreme for our own children. We want them to still very much be kids. So we discussed our feelings in length and came up with this list to strike our desired balance.

  • Each time our children want something new, they must find two things in their collection that they are willing to part with to charity
  • Each month, help them choose what charity they wish to donate a percentage of their allowance to 
  •  Give them a piggy bank for spending money and bank account for saving money early on.
  • Involve them in cooking early  and have responsibility for age appropriate household chores.
  •  Teach them to budget, compare pricing and negotiate the final cost.
  •  Encourage any entrepreneurial inspiration
  • Match whatever contribution they make towards a savings goal up to a certain amount.
  •  The opportunity to live at home as long as they need to, in order to save for their first home.  We will charge them board but put away a percentage into an account to  give them later to put towards their deposit. ( they will not be aware of this until it come time to purchase a house so that their motivation is theirs alone.)
  • Provide them with experiences such as extra curricular activities and travel to expand their awareness of opportunities and to expose them to people in harder times than themselves
  • Fill their lives with positive role models and share stories of the "underdogs" of personal and financial success.