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Ask Dave

Teaching Them How To Spend

Mike is worried about the behavior his kids are showing when it comes to their spending money.

QUESTION: Mike tries to get his kids to save, spend and give their earned money. They blow their spend money as soon as they get it and are soon talking about the next piece of junk to buy. Should this bother Mike? Yes, Dave says. He then tells Mike the one piece of the puzzle that they missed.

ANSWER: This should bother you. The reason you have them work is to teach them to work. The reason you have them save is to teach them to save. The reason you have them give is to teach them to give. And the reason you have them spend is to teach them how to spend.

That’s the part you missed. It’s not anarchy; you are the parents. It’s a benevolent dictatorship. Have a discussion about quality of items. I’m going to persuade you and teach you as you buy. Some things you just can’t buy because we don’t want those things in our house, like certain music and video games.

It’s part of the teaching, and you do sometimes want to give them enough rope to hang themselves. When they buy something cheap and then it breaks, remind them that you told them that it was cheap!