Tonight I am staying up too late and watching Oprah. The topic reminded me of many values I hope to instill in Amelia. The value of money.
I am going to back up a little bit.
I grew up for the most part..."not wealthy". Does this mean we were "poor"? Sometimes. Sometimes it felt that way when I compared myself and my material belongings to others. BUT I think being "poor" is more of a state of "mind" than a state of "being". Did I grow up without? Not really. The state of being feeling "without" is contextual. What I mean by this is, who you compare yourself to can greatly influence your perception of being, "without".
OK now back to Amelia.
1. The Value of money. I want Amelia to know the value of money. I think I will start to pay for things in cash in front of her when she starts to notice.
2. Grades do not equal (immediate) rewards. We will not pay for grades. A grade's value should come intrinsically not from extrinsic material items or monetary gain. I am not against rewarding but not with material items or money. Perhaps with a date out doing something special with mom or dad. This is something we will figure out along the way. I hope to remind her that the rewards for her good grades will be reaped in a good college and future career. (I am proof of this.)
3. Honesty. I will not tell Amelia no and then go out and spend the money on myself or on another child. I also will not tell her yes when we really can't afford it. Being honest about priorities and helping her safe up her earnings for things she wants and not just providing instant gratification for something she wants but can't afford at this time. (This will have to be a family effort including grandparents not giving in with out parental approval.)
4. Money (stuff) does not equal love. Christmas and birthdays are wonderful memorable times. I hope the memories are not about what she got but who she spent the time with. Also I want her to know that Christmas is not just about stuff but about Christ! The excess I see during the holidays makes me SICK. I think thoughtful gifts are wonderful. These can be homemade, etc... I want Amelia to look forward to Christmas for the fellowship of family and the traditions we create. I hope the tradition does not include being inundated with gifts.
5. No entitlement. Amelia is not entitled to stuff just because she is a "good" kid or gets good grades or is part of the family household. Money is earned. The entitlement psyche of our American culture is so apathetic. Our children will not be entitled. They will know money is earned and how much they will receive is not just based on time spent but performance of the task. Once the allowance is gone, it's gone. Learning to live within their means.
Living in a smaller place everything you own becomes amplified by having to find a place for it.
I am trying to be simplier in my consumption of stuff. My reasons for this are multifaceted.
1. The environment. There is only a finite amount of resources. Most of Amelia's bigger items were bought used. (Swing, exersaucer, changing table, glider, crib, stroller, and many of her clothes. ) I am inspired by how easy it was to get quality items for Amelia I am hoping to step up my own purchases of used items for myself.
2. Money. Buying less and used is cheaper. It also doesn't support industries in foreign countries that do not abide by environmental or labor laws.
3. Buy American made.
4. Make it home made when possible. Examples of this. I cloth diaper Amelia. (the amount of garbage disposable diapers create is staggering. I use disposables for a couple days last week for a break. It was a huge reminder of why I cloth diaper. The garbage mounted up SO fast. It literally made me nauseous. Also my laundry mounted up because they leaked and blew out often. (ewww poopty pants!!!) I now make Amelia's cloth diapers. It takes a little time...but they are cheaper than buying them and insanely cheaper than disposables. PLUS I can use them on kid number two...the savings continues.
5. Buying foods whole and preparing them at home. Example. Instead of going to breadsmith for my yummy muffin with my starbucks. I now make my own awesome muffins and brew my own coffee. Savings of about 6bucks each time I do that. That is about 50 bucks a month in my pocket. It adds up FAST!!! I was able to get Guy an awesome present from my savings of my mad money. (He was happy!) I also bought 2.5 lbs of ground turkey. So far I have made...2 shepherd's pies, and the rest I made into mini meat balls which I cooked and froze. I love having precooked meat in the freezer that I can just heat and serve. Store bought meatballs are about 8bucks a bag. I got mine for about 2bucks. We still have a bunch left. My next endeavor is making frozen burritos. (I love love love the Amy's frozen burritos).
Recipes to follow soon!
Thanks for reading these thoughts.