Birthday Money

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Last month at Imani’s birthday party she received $50.00 in cash and a few gift cards.  Everyday thereafter for about a week, she was determined to spend her money.  She inquired if I had to go to Walmart everyday because she said I needed to get something.  What was I supposed to get?  She didn’t know.  When she realized I wasn’t biting she asked me where her money was and insisted that I show it to her.

Eventually she stopped asking.  On the occasion I took her with me to Walmart she would make hints about something that she “needed.”  Last weekend the weather was really nice.  My cousins (a boy and girl the same ages as Imani and Ian) were over for the day.  I took the girls to Walmart while the boys stayed home and played outside. 

I let them pick out hula hoops for them and balls for the boys.  Imani seemed to be happy with this purchase.  Until…

Imani~”Mommy, did you spend my birthday money on this stuff?”

Me~”No Sweetie, I still have your money in a safe place at home.”

Imani~”Well when do I get to spend it?”

Me~”We’ll have to find something special to do with your birthday money.”

Imani~”When?”

Me~”Soon.”

I actually have no clue how I want her to spend the money.  I do not want her to spend it on random toys that she will play with for a hot second. 

What do you do with your kids birthday money?

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13 responses »

  1. I allow Nicholas to spend any money he receives whether it is a gift or allowance in the manner he wishes. I just remind him to think about his purchases. If he wastes it, that’s his problem. Over the course of the years he has managed to spend his money quite wisely.

  2. My kids wanted to always put their money in the bank. They would take it out if they REALLY wanted to buy something. They also felt cool because they had money to buy other people presents, if they had a birthday party to go to. They learned to save at an early age. I was happy with their decisions!

  3. I actually do exactly what Morocco does. I allow Keb (my almost 8-year old son) to have his money, ask him if he’s sure that’s how he wants to spend his money, and then let him do it. He’s pretty good about saving up. He’s also learned, over the years, what he’s willing to pay for and what he isn’t.

  4. I usually have my daughter put some of her money in her savings account, and she can spend the rest on whatever she wants. She loves to spend her own money, but I always remind her to make wise choices.

  5. I do the same thing that Morocco does also. My children want to spend it different ways. Only my oldest son spent all of his money. The rest held on to it until it was something they really wanted.

  6. Ladies, thanks for the ideas. Saving some is a great idea. The rest she can “play’ with. I’m going to leave it up to Imani how she wants to spend the rest on. Lord help me, I know my child, she’ll want me to take her to get $25 worth of candy. Then I’ll have to let her right? “Because I said so!” LOL!

  7. If she wants to spend that much on candy, I would allow her to do so. But I would tell her that you get to dole it out at your discretion (say over the span of a year!). That might change her mind!

  8. I was like some of the others. If my kids got gifts, I let them buy what they wanted and once the money was gone, it was gone. I felt they needed to learn this. But for allowances, they had to put some in the bank, give to the offering at church and they could do what they wanted with the rest. I have one spender and one saver so I’m not sure how or why kids turn out the way they do.

  9. Joy~Eventually we’ll start the allowance thing with Ian and Imani. Right now they are just 5 and 6 years old. When did you start giving your children allowance?

  10. Well, my oldest two grandchildren are 8 and I think they should be getting one now because neither of them have the slightest concept of what money is. One day my grandson asked me for something in a store and it was $63!! That’s not a “treat.” They really need to know what money is and what things cost.

    I’m thinking back and when they first started to get “chores,” the allowance started. I think it was around 6 or 7. I also didn’t give them any of their allowance if they didn’t do all their chores. I had to teach them that you have to do your whole job to get paid and not just the things you didn’t mind doing.

    I’ve heard people debate back and forth that kids shouldn’t get paid for things they should be doing anyway but to me, it wasn’t about the money. I felt they should learn about it and I didn’t know any other way.

  11. I know what you mean about teaching them the concept of money. Ian and Imani ask for things all the time that are way out of our budget.

    I have not delegated chores for them yet. I’ll start off with something small, like empty the trash can in their bathroom. Right now they like to help with chores when I am cleaning. The only thing they are responsible for is to make sure they put their things away when they are done using them. Of course they moan and groan. But like my mom used to do me when I was little, if she has told us once to pick up after ourselves and we didn’t, whatever was left out when we went to bed went straight into the trash. You should see them scatter to put their things away. LOL! This has also helped me a great deal from picking up after them.

  12. As a parent of a teen and and a young adult, when the boys were younger, I told them that what they spent their money on was their decision, however I also told them, once it is gone, then thats it. I would remind them if they needed things such as clothing at the store that I was not going to buy them, that maybe they can use their money to purchase it. Kids learn by making mistakes. No matter the age, they make them, even when we lecture!

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