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 Post subject: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:26 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
Good Day -- my wife and I are just about at wits end. Our daughter, age 12, seems to be an endless black hole of wants. At least once per day it seems she comes up with something new she wants. Yesterday it was a private skating coach. Every single day it is something new. I was furious last week because we have told her she cannot go negative on her school lunch account. Her MO is that we deposit x amount in her account at the beginning of the month. She spends practically all of it in the first week and then ends up eating peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of the month. Twice now she has gone negative on the account. We have told her it is her responsibility to keep up with how much is left and not go beyond that to no avail. Does one take away her privileges? I only had $20 the other day when she went to a movie with a friend so I told her should could spend $10 and to bring the rest back. What does she bring back? $3.

Her brother who is 3 years younger never asks for anything whatsoever. After more than 3 months at school he still has money from the first month in his account. How do others deal with this? How do you deal with children whose hobbies are vastly different in cost? My daughter is into figure skating and my son plays team sports at school or through the parks.

Thanks for reading my frustrations.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:21 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
grinnell wrote:
Good Day -- my wife and I are just about at wits end. Our daughter, age 12, seems to be an endless black hole of wants. At least once per day it seems she comes up with something new she wants. Yesterday it was a private skating coach. Every single day it is something new. I was furious last week because we have told her she cannot go negative on her school lunch account. Her MO is that we deposit x amount in her account at the beginning of the month. She spends practically all of it in the first week and then ends up eating peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of the month. Twice now she has gone negative on the account. We have told her it is her responsibility to keep up with how much is left and not go beyond that to no avail. Does one take away her privileges? I only had $20 the other day when she went to a movie with a friend so I told her should could spend $10 and to bring the rest back. What does she bring back? $3.

Her brother who is 3 years younger never asks for anything whatsoever. After more than 3 months at school he still has money from the first month in his account. How do others deal with this? How do you deal with children whose hobbies are vastly different in cost? My daughter is into figure skating and my son plays team sports at school or through the parks.

Thanks for reading my frustrations.

Mike

Welcome to the forum Mike!

This may sound a little harsh but when your daughter asks for things that you don't think she needs...just tell her no. "NO!" is a complete sentence. You're the parent, put your foot down & stick to it.

As for her blowing her lunch money, spending money, allowance, etc without a care in the world, it sounds like she has been conditioned to think & act that way. Have you & your wife taught her how to handle money or do you just cave in & fork it over?

In my view, if her spending behavior continues, it is very possible that it will cause alot of hard feelings within your family since she seems to get everthing she wants while he fends for himself. It'll only get worse as they get older.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5211
No kids here so maybe not the best source of parenting advice.

But you are teaching your daughter some very important lessons:
1. Money grows on trees, or perhaps sprouts in daddy's wallet.
2. Breaking rules has no consequences.
3. Irresponsible behavior is rewarded.

If you want to change the behavior you will need to be prepared to stop issuing rewards. If she spends all her lunch money the first week then even peanut butter sandwiches are a luxury. I'm not suggesting you starve her but perhaps you should help her plan better. Perhaps she should be buying the peanut butter and bread the first week so she has something later.

Remember, she learns from you. If you set an example of free flowing money she will have no reason to treat it as a scarce resource.

Does she have chores she doe to earn her movie money? Or is that just a handout she gets? At 12 I would think it is time to start earning her fun money rather than just getting as much as she wants from you. I would also give her a relatively sparse allowance so that she has to learn to ration that as well.

:devil:


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:12 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
Tightwad wrote:
grinnell wrote:
Good Day -- my wife and I are just about at wits end. Our daughter, age 12, seems to be an endless black hole of wants. At least once per day it seems she comes up with something new she wants. Yesterday it was a private skating coach. Every single day it is something new. I was furious last week because we have told her she cannot go negative on her school lunch account. Her MO is that we deposit x amount in her account at the beginning of the month. She spends practically all of it in the first week and then ends up eating peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of the month. Twice now she has gone negative on the account. We have told her it is her responsibility to keep up with how much is left and not go beyond that to no avail. Does one take away her privileges? I only had $20 the other day when she went to a movie with a friend so I told her should could spend $10 and to bring the rest back. What does she bring back? $3.

Her brother who is 3 years younger never asks for anything whatsoever. After more than 3 months at school he still has money from the first month in his account. How do others deal with this? How do you deal with children whose hobbies are vastly different in cost? My daughter is into figure skating and my son plays team sports at school or through the parks.

Thanks for reading my frustrations.

Mike

Welcome to the forum Mike!

This may sound a little harsh but when your daughter asks for things that you don't think she needs...just tell her no. "NO!" is a complete sentence. You're the parent, put your foot down & stick to it.

As for her blowing her lunch money, spending money, allowance, etc without a care in the world, it sounds like she has been conditioned to think & act that way. Have you & your wife taught her how to handle money or do you just cave in & fork it over?

In my view, if her spending behavior continues, it is very possible that it will cause alot of hard feelings within your family since she seems to get everthing she wants while he fends for himself. It'll only get worse as they get older.


Hi Tightwad -- we virtually always say No to her requests and they still never seem to end. That's the odd thing about it. My wife grew up in a poor family and we together save about 25% of our gross income. At the same time we do pay for violin and piano lessons and try to give them the opportunity to do some other things. We refuse to buy her expensive brand clothes and the other day when she said she needed a new red sequin skirt for the winter ice show I told her if she wanted it she'd have to find out at Salvation Army or Goodwill. She had a snarky reply to that. One thing to add is that we live in a small city with about 2500 doctors and many, if not most, of my daughters friends have one or both parents who are doctors. Together some of them make probably 8 or 10 times what I and my wife make. That, I am sure, has a lot to do with the unending wants. She recently asked why she cannot go to Turkey like her friend. I told her that it had something to do with the fact that not only is the hospital paying for her dad's trip and hotel but also he does not have to take time off to do it.

We've tried to teach the kids about money. My son, for some reason, has picked it right up. He is always telling us (at age 9) ways we can save money. Why my daughter is the black sheep and utterly different is what flabbergasts me.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:25 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
DoingHomework wrote:
No kids here so maybe not the best source of parenting advice.

But you are teaching your daughter some very important lessons:
1. Money grows on trees, or perhaps sprouts in daddy's wallet.
2. Breaking rules has no consequences.
3. Irresponsible behavior is rewarded.

If you want to change the behavior you will need to be prepared to stop issuing rewards. If she spends all her lunch money the first week then even peanut butter sandwiches are a luxury. I'm not suggesting you starve her but perhaps you should help her plan better. Perhaps she should be buying the peanut butter and bread the first week so she has something later.

Remember, she learns from you. If you set an example of free flowing money she will have no reason to treat it as a scarce resource.

Does she have chores she doe to earn her movie money? Or is that just a handout she gets? At 12 I would think it is time to start earning her fun money rather than just getting as much as she wants from you. I would also give her a relatively sparse allowance so that she has to learn to ration that as well.

:devil:


Homework -- thanks for the reply. First of all, I am the tightwad of all tightwads. My wife and I, despite the expenses related to kids, manage to save 25% of our gross income. I drive a 21 year old Olds Cutlass and we only recently bought a second car after 15 years with only one. I either walked or bussed to work that entire time. My wife grew up in a poor family and she gets almost all her work clothes at Salvation Army or Goodwill. I garden and can for the winter. I cut coupons to the point where my wife thinks I am a nut (although I do refuse to buy stuff that I would not have otherwise bought just because I have $0.25 off. I don't believe we are setting bad example.

They have chores and we have actually probably given them a lower allowance than most of their friends. When there are special things like going to a movie we usually are willing to pay for that since it is usually quite infrequent.

My wife and I have been talking about giving a set amount for clothes and other things each month and from that she needs to figure out her own budget. The root of the problem is that she is irresponsible, pretty much with everything. She is a 4.0 student and very smart but seems to have the attention span of a gerbil. When she does things like go into the red with her lunch money I take her iPod. She gets it back after a week or somethings, says she'll never do it again but then it does.

Like I said in my post above, my son seems to have picked up everything. He saved until his fingers bled for about a year to buy an iPad. My wife likes to borrow it so she mentioned that maybe she should buy her own. He said that would be a dumb waste of money since she can just borrow his.

My wife and I are just flabbergasted at how she can be so different from the way we have lived for the past 12 years. We scrimp and save. Have never had cable, haul my own trash, make my own soy milk, tofu and mock duck. Have done almost all the repairs on my 21 year-old car for a decade. I could go on and on, but I am a notorious tightwad. Garden, can, freeze and the things my daughter comes along and says she wants practically every day would be a huge expense relative to what we actually spend.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:12 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:32 pm
Posts: 9
Not sure if it will work for you, but I told my son whatever he had left over at the end of the week I would double and he could keep.. The cunning wee ratbag made sandwiches every day and I had to fork out another $20 :lol:


Last edited by Skiwi on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:23 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
Sounds like you & your wife (and your son) have your financial lives on the right track but the daughter marches to the beat of her own drum. The logical reason for her behavior must be coming from her schoolmates. I would continue to impress upon her that mommy & daddy aren't doctors & money doesn't grow on trees.

If you don't put a damper on this now....just wait until she gets in high school and/or college!!! You ain't seen nothing yet.

For what it's worth...you scrimp, save, clip coupons, drive old cars, etc but your daughter has a iPod at 12 yrs old that she obviously didn't work for. Are you sure there isn't a little bit of spoiling going on?


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5211
grinnell wrote:
Homework -- thanks for the reply. First of all, I am the tightwad of all tightwads. My wife and I, despite the expenses related to kids, manage to save 25% of our gross income.


Well I did not mean to be so critical. In your first message you made it sound as if you mostly gave in to here requests. Now it sounds otherwise. Maybe the source of her wants is peer pressure.

Even though I don't have kids, I do think kids should be exposed to a wide variety of experiences so I don't think paying for violin lessons and so forth is extravagant if you can afford it. So maybe this is not about the expenditures so much as it is helping her deal with peer pressure. She might need to learn that everything requires sacrifice. Her friends' parents who make tons of money now were working their @$$es off in med school at one point. At 12, perhaps a talk about starting to think about how hard she wants to work to be able to afford that kind of thing in 20-30 years might be in order. That might give you an opportunity to bring include what kind of sacrifices she wants to start making now.

College is just a few years away. Have you talked with her about paying for college? Even if you intend to pay it, maybe get her to start thinking about where her fun money will come from.

I don't know, I've helped raise a niece to some extent so I know a 12 year old can certainly start thinking along those lines. But my niece was a major tightwad that wanted to save everything she got so we did not face the same problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
Tightwad wrote:
Sounds like you & your wife (and your son) have your financial lives on the right track but the daughter marches to the beat of her own drum. The logical reason for her behavior must be coming from her schoolmates. I would continue to impress upon her that mommy & daddy aren't doctors & money doesn't grow on trees.

If you don't put a damper on this now....just wait until she gets in high school and/or college!!! You ain't seen nothing yet.

For what it's worth...you scrimp, save, clip coupons, drive old cars, etc but your daughter has a iPod at 12 yrs old that she obviously didn't work for. Are you sure there isn't a little bit of spoiling going on?



Hi Tightwad -- actually, the iPod she saved for as well. They get birthday money and so and so forth. I do have a deal with them that if they keep their money in my bank then I give them 5% interest per month. I am thinking that I might also match something if they are looking to purchase something big and it's a certain amount. Have not thought that through quite enough yet. In any case, yes, my daughter definitely is the odd-girl out and it gets tiring to hear something new every day that she wants and inevitably tell her no. Actually, I think I would rather have her become obsessed with something and nag me about the same thing every day because at least in that case I would know that it is really something she wants rather than just the daily "I want".


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
DoingHomework wrote:

College is just a few years away. Have you talked with her about paying for college? Even if you intend to pay it, maybe get her to start thinking about where her fun money will come from.

Homework -- both you and tightwad hit the nail on the head. Both my wife and I are terrified if we cannot somehow instill in her some discipline now what are things going to be like in a relatively few years. One thing you did hit on is that she is extremely sensitive to peer pressure and feels the need to 'fit in' more than seemingly even most kids. Again, my son is completely the opposite. Seems like he could not possibly care less what everyone else is doing. My wife is even afraid of her making bad decisions with respect to her friends and activities due to peer pressure. I've been trying to tell her that these are just so few years in her life and that, for example, middle school and high school (and even less the latter) are about the only place on the planet where being popular (she is pained that she is not popular) is more important than being smart or actually being good at something.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
grinnell wrote:
Tightwad wrote:
Sounds like you & your wife (and your son) have your financial lives on the right track but the daughter marches to the beat of her own drum. The logical reason for her behavior must be coming from her schoolmates. I would continue to impress upon her that mommy & daddy aren't doctors & money doesn't grow on trees.

If you don't put a damper on this now....just wait until she gets in high school and/or college!!! You ain't seen nothing yet.

For what it's worth...you scrimp, save, clip coupons, drive old cars, etc but your daughter has a iPod at 12 yrs old that she obviously didn't work for. Are you sure there isn't a little bit of spoiling going on?



Hi Tightwad -- actually, the iPod she saved for as well. They get birthday money and so and so forth. I do have a deal with them that if they keep their money in my bank then I give them 5% interest per month. I am thinking that I might also match something if they are looking to purchase something big and it's a certain amount. Have not thought that through quite enough yet. In any case, yes, my daughter definitely is the odd-girl out and it gets tiring to hear something new every day that she wants and inevitably tell her no. Actually, I think I would rather have her become obsessed with something and nag me about the same thing every day because at least in that case I would know that it is really something she wants rather than just the daily "I want".

If she saved for it & there is a plan in place then it's not quite as bad as it seems I guess.

You still have an issue with her wants & I don't envy your situation of having to say no all the time. Tough spot to be in.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am
Posts: 201
DoingHomework wrote:
She might need to learn that everything requires sacrifice. Her friends' parents who make tons of money now were working their @$$es off in med school at one point. At 12, perhaps a talk about starting to think about how hard she wants to work to be able to afford that kind of thing in 20-30 years might be in order. That might give you an opportunity to bring include what kind of sacrifices she wants to start making now.


I love this advise, DoingHomework! It would be a great opportunity to turn this situation into a learning moment and hopefully motivate her at the same time. If you don't address this, she might not be able to understand the sacrifice piece fully when she sees peers that appear to have everything. Some people can and do get just about everything they want but most had to sacrifice at some point for it, whether that was putting themselves through medical school and residency or working long hours and then pouring their savings into a business.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:06 pm
Posts: 11
I can see how she feels with her age and social group. I think being honest about your finances is the best lesson to teach her. I grew up very middle class and I was never allowed to shop in designer stores... it was the sales rack in the department store if anything. When going to the mall with friends my dad would usually very KINDLY provide me with a $50 bill to spend however I wanted (maybe like 2 times a year and over holiday break). Of course there were times when I really wanted something and I protested, but I ended up getting my first paying job at 15 because I knew my parents wouldn't buy me whatever I wanted (not that it upset me at that point, I just knew and respected their fiances). I didn't make much, but I knew the value of a dollar and that was the important lesson. It's not the red ice skating skirt that she'll forget about in the long run, it's the investment you make in her character which stays with her for life.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:24 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 124
Another childless poster giving advice here: Let her make mistakes now. Continue to teach her about saving, budgeting, etc, but don't try to force her. Have her get a job, now or when she's older, and require that she save X but give her free reign over the rest. When I was her age I babysat and refereed soccer, although I was a natural saver and didn't spend much of it.

Your daughter reminds me of one of my brothers. Where my sister and I were fairly content with what we had he always had something he wanted - gaming consoles, high end soccer gear, name brand clothes, and that boy had more hair product than my sister and I combined. He also started referring soccer when he was... 10? Maybe 11? He spent a lot more of his earnings than my sister and I did but he did keep something in savings, and when he was old enough he started working "real" jobs at restaurants, as event staff... at one time in high school he worked three different part time jobs because each one didn't give him enough hours. He still asked our parents for things and they still said no, sometimes they'd try to get him to be more frugal in his spending but it was his money to do with as he pleased. He's now 28 and while he still likes nice things he's much more conscious in his spending and has done. Maturity is a big part of that, he wasn't ready to listen to many of our parents' lessons when he was a teen but they finally sunk in when he was older.

So take a breath and relax. She's 12, and while you're right that this sort of behavior can develop into a nightmare she also has a lot of developing and maturing to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Kids and Money
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 16
catchingup wrote:
So take a breath and relax. She's 12, and while you're right that this sort of behavior can develop into a nightmare she also has a lot of developing and maturing to do.


catch -- Thanks for the moral support. My wife and I have three houses we rent and one of the tenants is a young woman who recently told me that while she used to always buy at the brand name stores she has now gotten hooked on shopping at Goodwill. The trigger? Now she has to pay for her own rent, her own food, her own car, her own everything. I had way more disposable income as a teenager (not to mention no real thoughts about the future) so I suppose I can calm down a little bit.


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