Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Money Management and Behavior System for Children: Coaching

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Today, I want to focus on the coaching aspect of the system - budgeting.  (Click to start at the beginning of this Money Management series.)

The basic rule for all money management systems is to spend less than you make.  If you do the opposite, you will find yourself in a heap of trouble with creditors!  This is where budgeting comes in.

Another point about money that I want to bestow to our children is that our money is given to us by God to be used for God.  This is where tithing comes in.

I use the word "coaching" because it is as close to a /kw/ sound as I could find and because I love the word picture.  As a coach I am a teacher who is giving someone lessons in a particular subject (source:  Dictionary).  I am giving our children lessons on stewardship. 

When giving our children the weekly $4, I purposely have them put 50 cents first into the "God" drawer of their bank.  I want them to get into the habit of always giving God first from their earnings.
Proverbs 3:9 - Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.
We mirror this as we share with the kids how we also give to the God through tithing. 

The second part of coaching is my hardest.  As a control freak and very thrifty personality, it pains me to see the kids "waste" money on frivolous things.  But, this is an area that I have to let go and allow natural consequences to work.  I also remind myself that the kids can learn their lesson now with minor things or with large items when they are older. 

Let me share a few examples. 

When at a restaurant, we only choose water to drink.  Most often sugary drinks are way overpriced and just purchasing the meal for a family of six can leave a hole in your pocket.  The children are given the option of using their spending money to purchase a drink.  While at my favorite Mexican restaurant (oh, how I love chips and salsa), Sweet Pea decided she would spend her money on a pop (soda for you who don't know what pop is).  It was going to cost her $2.00.  Despite the encouragement to save her money, she plunged in and asked the waiter for a Sprite.  She enjoyed it throughout the meal but soon it was time to leave and the pop had to stay.  When we arrived home and she had to pay back the $2.00 she said, "I should have saved my money.  It wasn't really that great."

Success!  And she hasn't asked to purchase a pop since.

Example #2:

School t-shirts were on sale and the kids wanted to purchase one.  Because it was clothing that would be passed down to siblings, I told them I would pay half.  Sweet Pea (who rarely loses a quarter) had plenty in her spending drawer.  Actually she had enough to purchase two t-shirts.  Bubs on the other hand was short the money. 

Bring on the begging.

He pleaded with me to give him an early payment for the next week.  He complained that the Quarter Coaching Program were dumb.  He whined that life wasn't fair.  Each time I explained that if he wanted to earn the extra money he was welcome to.  Finally he began thinking how he could earn the lone dollar he lacked.  In our home, extra quarters are earned by doing extra jobs around the house.  I also give a few quarters out each week for over-the-top behavior.  A few days later he had earned the amount needed and very proudly wears his new t-shirt. 

You could also call the coaching aspect "shepherding."  We  are shepherding our child's heart to understand responsibility, giving, and stewardship. 

Remember that on Monday I will be answering your questions, so be sure to leave a comment!


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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.