Like most of my generation, I didn't listen. Ours is the generation of immediate gratification by means of a credit card. We wanted everything our parents had worked a lifetime to obtain, the day we left home. Instead of asking, "Can I afford it?" we asked "Can I afford the monthly payments?" If we are lucky, we stopped our dangerous patterns before we got into trouble.
And now the next generation is observing our habits. My children's choir is singing about shopping in our Christmas program this year: "And I'm runnin' out of cash and my credit cards are maxed/Oh I think I've lost control, and I'm only nine years old!" Can we teach our children not to start the dangerous patterns to begin with? Can we convince them to live debt-free and to be smart with their money BEFORE they get a credit card?
When my husband began teaching Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, I decided to look into Financial Peace, Jr for my kids. This fabulous kit for ages 3-12 includes:
Dry-erase board to track commission earningsHere's what the pieces look like all over my refrigerator!
Dry-erase board to track savings amounts
Envelope system (3 separate envelopes)
Clip-n-carry coin case
Give, Spend, and Save magnets
Instructional audio CD
The fridge is now Command Central for our Financial Program. Every job, fine, and goal is right here in an easily accessible format.
My kids are very excited about this new program. For one thing, they each get their own cool calculator and these awesome dry-erase forms, so what could be better than that? What they are really excited about are the things they are saving up to buy. We've already had a yard sale in which they chose some of their old toys to sell, and they got to keep the money from them. (What a great way for Mom to clear out some clutter without making anybody mad!) They also sold pink lemonade. One of my daughters lucked out, having a birthday recently so that she also got money from grandparents and aunts and uncles. When she combined all this money with the money she had saved, she was able to buy an American Girl doll she'd been wanting for a year or more - all by herself! What an incentive for an 8-year-old!
I highly recommend both getting this kit with the cool tools, and USING the Financial Peace, Jr, system! You can pick the kit up here for $19.95, and each additional child gets a full kit for only $10.00. Teach your kids the value of saving, investing, and maintaining financial independence before they are enslaved by the bonds of debt!
Also check out Dave's other products for kids, including the Foundations in Personal Finance High School Edition Homeschool Pack, which can be done for a High School credit.