So this spring my husband signed us up for Financial Peace University. You know with Dave Ramsey, that crazy guy who hates debt and talks about envelopes. I wasn't thrilled about going. I'm not an outrageous spender but I didn't have a budget. In fact, I didn't have anything to do with our finances at all. I didn't know how much we made, what our bills were, how much we were spending and on what. Is that the right way to live - NO, but I really enjoyed my world of ignorance. You see, money and I don't get along because numbers and I don't get along. They just don't compute in my head.
But we want to live life according to God's plan (not my happy state of ignorance), so we decided to put our best feet forward with this new Ramsey lifestyle. Were we horrible with money before this? NO. Could we be better? YES. Were we setting a horrible example for our children? Yes. Did we want to set ourselves up to be able to abundantly give to others? YES.
So while we were on this financial makeover journey I started carefully watching the lessons we had been passing down to Abby in regards to money.
- Did we tithe? Yes. Did we ever talk about it? No. Did she know we gave money to God? Maybe.
- Did we have a budget? No.
- Did she think we bought everything we wanted? Probably
- Did she get everything she wanted? Not always. Was there rhyme or reason to that? No
Clearly we needed to make changes. The biggest difference we made was in communication with Abby. We started having frequent dialogue about our family budget, what we spend money on, what she can spend money on, and how important it is to give back (that one was easy for her).
We also started implementing a chore chart. One we made up ourselves that fit her capabilities and our family needs. She started earning her own money. She started saving her own money, giving her own money, and spending her own money.
She has chores she does every day and chores she does once a week. Chores are something she does because she is part of our family, and in our family we all chip in to take care of our home.
She has jobs that she can get paid for. She currently has four jobs a week. Each job earns her one dollar (because that is simple). She gets paid every friday (something Dave suggests because most everyone with a job has a day they get paid on - we are training for real life).
When she gets paid she divides up her money. She gives one dollar to Jesus (and if one dollar is all she earned then Jesus gets it because He comes first), one dollar in saving, and two in spending.
|in true Ramsey fashion, I did not spend money on cute jars|
That is the system that we came up with and it works for our family. She understands that if she wants to buy something she has to pay for it. Over the last couple months she has also watched us have "budget committee meetings" (I am not making that up -its a real Ramsey thing and they aren't so bad). She also hears us talk about things like saving, bills, envelopes, and debt.
I'm really pleased to see her getting this. I don't want to raise a child who thinks everything will be handed to her on a silver platter. I want her to understand the value of a dollar, to know what it is to work hard for something, to really earn an exciting purchase. I also want to teach her how to be a good steward with the gifts and money God has given her. I want her to learn how stretch each dollar to its fullest so she can honor Him with more.
I also started reading Ramsey's newest book that he wrote with his daughter Rachel about raisingchildren with great money habits. I'm really enjoying it and glad to see we've already started so many great habits in our home.