Have you watched your child’s money go up in smoke? I did! My brother was just old enough to push a lawn mower and since mowing the lawn was a “money chore”, he had a pocket full of change, ready to be spent. Dad took him to buy the coveted smoke bombs and together we watched it all go up in smoke. All in one hour! It was great fun!
When my brother asked for more money so he could buy an ice cream, my dad shrugged his shoulders and told him he would have to wait until next week when the lawn needed mowing again. That was when my brother discovered that there was no Financial Fairy! He had to earn his own money for his personal spending habits.
An amazing thing happens when you move out of the role of Financial Fairy. Your child quickly finds ways to save for what they want. All the math they learn in school comes in really handy. Budgeting is as simple as “money in equals money out.” Having a savings plan set up for those new pair of jeans, or that cute Halloween costume is probably one of the best life lessons you will ever teach your children.
Now is the time to start window shopping for next Christmas. With the attitude that they can buy anything they want with their own money, your child gets to find out how much things really cost. They quickly start asking for more “money chores” to do around the house. Sit down with them to figure out how long it will take to earn their special spending spree. All that begging comes to a complete halt when you simply say, “Sure, you can buy anything you want with YOUR money!”
The best part of dispelling the Financial Fairy Myth is that your child gets to feel empowered, independent, and in control. They become highly motivated to work when there is no magical income except what they earn on their own. It’s a great feeling for kids to discover that they have the power to decide what is important for themselves.
No more fairies! Now you’ll have a financial wizard!