Monday, April 2, 2012

Rainy Day Money

Kiddies' Savings Section with Western Trimmings

Children of today have large sums of money at their disposal. This is compared to previous generations, when having a nickel or a quarter gave one a sense of wealth.

Many of our youth watch commercials, read newspaper ads and spend an appalling amount of time in stores and malls. They are bathed in materialism.

Young ones used to be taught to "save for a rainy day," or to spend months earning the money to buy their own special things.

Each time they were paid, or given a small financial gift (such as for birthdays or holidays), the money went into a piggy bank, or into a passbook savings account. Children delighted in seeing their money grow. They eagerly worked hard to save and add to their modest wealth. This brought them great pride and a sense of well-being.

Daily life was centered around home, school and church. Trips to the store were rare. No one ever went to browse or "hang out." That would have been a ridiculous waste of time.

Mother bought essential groceries, like milk, eggs and bread. She also bought sugar and cocoa and made her own cakes and cookies.  Children were delighted with the wonderful productivity that came out of the kitchen (as opposed to The Food Court)! 

Saving money was a duty and a privilege. Younger children rarely had any coins or cash. It was something they earned when they were a little older. This was something they looked forward to, just like doing their part to help support and help the family.

I am frightened that this generation of youngsters has holes in their pockets, but an overflowing closet of goods.  How many things does a child or teenager need anyway?

Perhaps if we encouraged them to earn and save and have Tootsie Roll Banks full of coins, they would learn the age old wisdom and  importance of saving for a rainy day. . . Sadly, they will never learn this unless we mothers are the example.

Mrs. White

This is so important! - Building a Strong Work Ethic in our Children.

For the Bad Days - Make the Mess Look Pretty.

Remembering! - Creating a 1950's - Like Childhood.

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Beth said...

I loved to save money as a child. I remember rolling my coins to take ) to the bank for long term savings and cutting out a picture of something I was saving for in the short (3-6 months term. My mother did a great job teaching me to save. I graduated from high school with over $5000 in the bank (1990).

When we had our first child in 1993 part of this money even helped pay for some of the prenatal expenses. I wasn't as good at teaching my 18yo daughter she is a lover of instant gratification. I think part of the problem happened when I switched from using cash to using a credit then debit card. It wasn't "real" to her, me just swiping a card and walking out of the store with various items.

We are hoping to change that with our younger children (ages 4,2, & 6mos) especially when it comes to earning money instead of being given an allowance.

Katrinka said...

I remember as a child my parents buying me baby chicks or giving me a calf or a hog and providing the feed for these animals. Then I would provide the labor for caring for them, and when they were sold I was allowed to keep the profits. Not a perfect example, I suppose, because in the adult world we have to pay for the feed AND provide the labor, but I was pretty small when this was going on and I think paying for the feed might have been a little discouraging for me. Perhaps they felt the lesson would have been lost in the process. But I remember feeling awed at the possibilities when I discovered labor had monetary rewards! :)

I agree so much with what you say about materialism today; however, I think people are AFRAID of doing without. They're afraid of not being able to handle financial hardship or afraid of losing their stuff and think, "What will I do? Will I have a nervous breakdown? Will my family despise me?" In reality, they need to realize that it will be OK. We can do a lot more than we think we can, if we have to.

About 20 years ago my husband was without work for several months. One of my little 'things' was that we used to go out to eat once a week and I knew we would have to give that up and, silly as it sounds, that was scary to me. Would I pout and whine like a baby? Would I snarl and scowl when I had to cook and serve every single meal and snack? I was scared at how I would handle it, but when it came right down to it all was well! We got so used to NEVER eating out, that when we HAD to eat out because we were unexpectedly 100 miles from home with no packed lunch or snacks, we stopped at a pizza place and had pizza and I was so dazzled and awestruck at what was happening I almost felt sinful! :) And this was after only 6 months of totally home prepared everything.

I think we can encourage our children by words and example that 'You can do it!' Many times, especially if we can trust in God, we can let the panic pass and it will be replaced with simple answers to seemingly insurmountable difficulties. We don't solve it all in one big swoop, but with time it comes untangled and we adapt to our circumstances.

Sometimes real tragedy strikes and it really is awful. At these times, I have thought, "I cannot bear this. It cannot be." But I DO bear it and I grow accustomed to the burden and grow stronger and more accepting each day of God working it all out. And sometimes even get to see how it was a GOOD thing.

Some very good points on your blog, and I appreciate it very much! Glad you are feeling better!

angel said...

I guess I don't feel so bad not giving my children an allowance. LOLOL They all know that one day they will work and help the family and at that time they will learn how to spend their money and save. It's amazing how little money one needed back then to buy something special. Now you need to work all day just to buy something. How things change and time flies. I love your blog. ;)

busymomof10 said...

Wow! Powerful post! So true!

Amy said...

So true. Most of my friends are just now becoming parents, but when I listen to some of the older children in church, I'm always amazed at how much money they get for allowance. So many seem to have little perspective on saving or on how much their money is worth. I still remember saving every little dime or quarter that came my way as a child. A $3.00 book was a treat that I had to budget for, and I think that taught me to set goals and plan as a child, which is something I would want for my own children.

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