I wasn’t raised with the understanding of money, how to use it or what a budget was. As an adult, I still suck at it – it’s a learning process (i.e. FPU graduate x2).
So now as a mom, I want to raise Gentry with the right terms. I’m not scared to talk about our budget and let him start to understand the concept of money at a young age. I decided one of my biggest issues as a kid was hearing my mom say “We can’t afford that.” Rightfully so, but it led money to have a negative connotation – here’s something I want but “I can’t afford it so I’ll never have it.” That created a “burn a hole in my pocket” mindset the minute I had money.
So I thought about all that when Gentry started asking questions about money a year or so ago. I replaced “no, we can’t afford that” with “it’s not in our budget for this month bud.” Hopefully, he will understand that you can have things you want but you have to budget for them. (I also do wishlists or have him circle things he wants in the sales ad while we shop if he’s driving me up the wall asking for stuff.)
Then today we drove by the local water park here and without fail, “Mom can we go there to that water park Mom?” comes from the back of the car.
Me: “It’s not in our budget this month Gentry.”
Gent: “Whats a budget?” (First time he’s asked this after my infamous line.)
Me: (Trying to explain in 4-year-old language…) “It’s the amount of money that comes INTO our family and how much money goes OUT.”
Gent: “Well I need to know how much of this money that comes in and goes out mom.”
Me: “Well yes, you eventually will.”
Gent: “And I need a purse Mom, so I can carry the money Mom.”
I think I’m getting somewhere.