Big J and I attended Financial Peace University at our church in the spring, and have been working to apply Dave's principles to our spending habits. Last week, we implemented Dave's program for kids, Financial Peace Jr., for Mister J's chores. He earned $3.50 in commission last week, and is set to earn about twice that amount for this week's chores. Based on the Spend/Save/Give percentages we set up for Mister J, he had $1.75 of spending money from last week's payday. This is the story of his first real purchase (and yes, I saved the receipt!).
Today, I invited Mister J to join me for a Costco run while Miss M was napping. As we were getting ready to go, he mentioned that he wanted to get a smoothie. I let him know that he would have to use his spending money, so we looked at the amount in his Spend envelope. We discussed how much a smoothie would cost and that he wouldn't have enough left for the games on Sunday (there's a gameroom in the restaurant where we usually share a meal with friends). He would have to make a choice. He chose the smoothie, so with money in his pocket we were off for a quick shopping trip.
As we were walking into the store, Mister J decided he wanted to walk with me while I shopped rather than ride in the cart with his smoothie, so he would buy the smoothie after we paid for our purchases. I have to admit, I was impressed by how much he'd thought this through. So, after we shopped and paid, we got in the line at the food court. When he got to the window, he ordered, paid, and giggled with excitement when his smoothie was ready. He was so proud! I have to admit, I was proud of him, too - he even said, "Thank you!" to the man that helped him today.
On they way home, we talked about putting his change back into his Spend envelope, and how it would not be enough for games on Sunday. He reminded me that he still had some money in his treasure box at home (the savings place prior to the envelope system), so he would have enough money to play games on Sunday, too! I'd forgotten that he had some money from our previous chore system, which turned out to be over $6.00! Later in the evening, we sat down together and split the money into the Spend/Save/Give envelopes, and Mister J picked out $1.00 from the Spend envelope for games. I'll have to check tomorrow to see if they take up a collection in Kids' Worship, otherwise I still need to find a place for Mister J to send his Give money. As for the Save envelope, he's saving up for another set of Kid K'Nex - and he's moving along towards that goal quite nicely!
I'm so proud of my little man, and I was thrilled to see how proud he was of his purchase! By the way, he drank every last drop! If you are wondering how much work it takes to earn enough spending money for a smoothie, Mister J's chores are worth 25 cents or 50 cents. He also has fines for specific misbehaviors that are 10 cents or 25 cents. Spending money is only 50% of what he earns, so he has to make at least $3.10 to pay for a smoothie. I'll be excited to see what he decides to do when his savings (40%) starts to add up and he gets close to reaching his goal. Will he spend it on the "goal" item? Will he decide he wants something else? Will he decide he wants something even bigger and just keep saving? Tune in for details - in about another month!