What My 4 Year Old Taught Me About Savings

March 5, 2009

Business, Family

Recently we started giving my 4 year old an allowance for helping around the house.  It’s only a dime here and a dime there, but he’s EXTREMELY proud of his money and what he can do with it.  His ultimate idea right now is to only save to buy Star Wars stuff, but what he’s been great about is his patience and thoughtfulness with it all.

At 4 years old, he’s already gaining a really great understanding that if he waits longer, he’ll accumulate more money. We let him know how much he has, and how much certain things cost, and then he shrugs it off and waits.  Never throws a tantrum or ask to have more money.  If people had an understanding like this, there would be a lot less credit trouble in the country, purchases would be made with a lot more sense, and there actually would be a lot less purchases made.

We are a country that continues to purchase an excess.  An excess of whatever.  Don’t believe me?  Move.  You always realize how much crap you have when you move.  You ask yourself, where did this stuff come from?  How did we get it?  If you think about what you need out of all that stuff, there’s a good rule of thumb that if you don’t touch it within 30 days, then you don’t need it.

My wife and I recently had a discussion about what we could get rid of if we wanted to, and looking around, we have things that are just there.  Do we need it?  Uhh, no.  I’m sure we got it from things we once needed, shopping on a wimb, or a decorative idea that we never completed.  The point is, we could be sitting around on money.

What I mean is you can minimalize and profit from it.  Also, nothing would change.  If we keep the objects and items that we use now, and sell the rest, our lives really wouldn’t change.  Our kids wouldn’t have a different life, and our lifestyle remains the same.

I told Josh once he gets enough money, he could buy that Star Wars toy, and his response was, “but then I’d have no money.”  He’s brilliant!  But that’s another post….

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