Many things have changed in our society since I was younger, but other things continue to be important. One of them is the value of learning a proper work ethic and the value of a service rendered. It’s important to teach these values to the next generation, and where better than in our own homes?
Payment For Service Rendered
Once your children have learned to do their own chores there will be times they will not want to. A fake money system may be required. Just go to the dollar store and pick up some toy money or use the money in the Monopoly board game (providing that you got the game and now never play it). Set up an amount paid for services such as chores or laundry. Next, set up the responsibility schedule. Let every person in the household know what their responsibility is and the time period they have to complete it in. After this amount of time the chore or service is up for grabs for others to earn and the person responsible has to pay those that complete the service. This will not only teach kids about managing money, but the value of a good work ethic.
There are fines for everything in the world, from overdraft fees to parking tickets to places to smoke or use the phone. Many fines are avoidable, and one of the best financial lessons that we can teach our children is to avoid them. Do this by having a fine system in your home. Leaving toys out will cost a certain amount of money or a service to be completed. Not keeping your room clean will result in a fine. In the long run this will teach children to try to avoid the action that produces the fine and in adult life could save them some money.
It is just as important to teach children the consequences of not managing money, or trying to work the system. At times the party responsible may feel that the service is not worth doing and will be willing to pay someone to do it. This is okay as long as they have the “money” to do so. Should they cease adhering to the plan by not earning or paying, then it’s time to give them a nice orange vest and let them do community service until their debt to your society is paid. Continued failure to comply can result in more traditional consequences (you could ground them).
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We all go through periods of trial and error when trying to save money. Some of them are odd. Some only work in our head. Others are just funny. Here are a few of mine.
My poor child currently is bald, and I’m to blame. It started out with me thinking that I could cut hair if only using a set of clippers. It would save us about ten dollars. I began to notice that his hair wasn’t even. After a few frustrating attempts to even it out I took the attachment off the clippers and shaved his head. In spite of now being bald, my poor son still has spots that don’t quite conform to baldness. The good news in all of this is that his hair will grow back and I do need a few pointers before attempting this again.
While making pumpkin pie bars I noticed we were out of eggs. Not wanting to run out to the store I decided to use oil instead of eggs. My reasoning was that oil worked just fine in brownies. I was right. The pumpkin bars turned out with the consistency of brownies. Pumpkin brownies with a gingerbread crust. They hardened just like brownies a little while later and I had to pry what was left off of the pan even after soaking them. On the plus side my son liked them, so we may have a new dessert option.
The Baby Carrier
I decided to make a baby carrier this past week. I went to the fabric store and picked out a nice fabric. When I got home I discovered it wasn’t long enough, so I cut it in half lengthwise and sewed the two pieces together to make it longer. I later learned that this isn’t safe for the baby, which didn’t matter anyway because it still wasn’t long enough. Luckily I found our old baby carrier and now we have a new three foot burp cloth.
What bumps have you hit attempting to save money?
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted on some of the fun (and free!) activities we have done with our children. We have visited our local fire station and stood just yards away from a plane taking off at a local private airport. Both of those activities were fun for our entire family and left our children with such an interest and excitement that we have checked out books on fire engines and planes to read from the library. And, we have read them over and over again
It’s July and the heat has been seriously turned up in our neck of the woods. Seriously. So, while we do still make early trips to the playground and hop into the little kiddie pool in the backyard, we also look for indoor (air conditioned) activities. So, we visited our local pet store.
We saw dogs getting groomed. We enjoyed looking at all the fish in the multiple very pretty aquariums. And, hamsters. Oh, did they enjoy those hamsters spinning round and round and round again. It was cute for the first spin or two for mom and dad. But, I’m sure our children could have watched those hamsters all day long.
The children had a blast. And, before we left, we purchased a few crickets. It turns out that my husband and the children discovered a frog in the backyard the night before we went to the pet store. So, the bag of crickets was “food” for “Froggy.”
And, yes, they fed Froggy that night. It was such an exciting day for them! What a wonderful reminder of how easy and inexpensive it can be to participate in fun (and maybe even educational) activities with young children during these hot summer months.
It wasn’t like going to the zoo. But, we had fun, stayed cool and were still back home before lunch.
What fun, free activities have you discovered this summer?
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End Date: August 4, 2014