Teaching kids the value of money...

My son is 9... He's got the whole money thing down.. understanding the value of a twenty etc... But has no real grasp of what things cost and both my kids had asked for something at Target the other day and when I told them 'NO'... my daughter said, "It's only 3 dollars"...

I stopped and I said, "Yes.. it's only $3, but think of this.. the bday party we were just at, we spent $15 extra on games, then $6 on snow cones, then it's actually $3.99 for BOTH of you, which comes to $8... " so... I explained that one $3 thing may be okay, but when you add it up we are at a $40 dollar day here... she started to get it..

Then we went to the grocery store.. They usually don't pay much attention and just help, but my son saw the total and his jaw dropped.. "$138 dollars mom?" I said yep.. He was dumbfounded.. I reminded him that I spend that weekly on lunches, dinners, snacks, etc... and that I find that I go back once a week for another $40 trip sometimes...

He added it in his head and then asked what our rent was and my phone and cable and the look on his face of how much it came to was utter shock... He said, "where do you get that kind of money?" and I explained that is why when i say I'm working.. I have to work.. and those were just necessities... then there was a pause and he said, "Do you need my $25 from Gramma?"

I cried of course. Cause I love him and he gets it and I said "no baby. I don't... Thank you" Then I reminded him that I got this.. that we will never go hungry or be with out a home, but to remember when I say NO to something that he wants, it's not always just to say no.. it's because of all the other stuff...

I love to reward my kids. They're good kids, They deserve a $3 crappy plastic toy most days.. But I need them to understand that just because we CAN buy it, doesn't mean we should...

My son has a newfound respect for me I think... my daughter will get it.. and is trying, but she still thinks 5 singles os more than one 20...

    8Theresa Gould
    Our children are all at various stages but it sounds like your kids are getting it. Money education is important.
      Amanda Hurley
      That is awesome that he is getting it. I remember when my oldest was about three years old. Her dad and I were having a discussion about money. We thought she was sleeping. He had just lost his job and we were about to lose everything. Later on that night, we went grocery shopping, and I offered her a penny for the penny horse at Meijer. She said to us, "but mom, daddy broke the money when he lost his job. I don't think the penny will work." Now, she is getting money more and more. We are still working on it, but she is only 6. We try and teach her that if you budget wisely, you get more.
      About Jessica
      Born: Novato, California
      Current: Sherman Oaks, California
      Birth: May 28
      On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
      We live in Los Angeles, CA. I'm a writer, comedian, actor and single mom of two. Parenting is hard. I try to keep a sense of humor about it all and find the find the funny... in what is most likely NOT funny (i.e. boogers, meltdowns, homework, etc.).