Why you should want your kids to make bad choices with their allowance money...seriously!
How many purchases have you ever made that were a mistake?
OK...stop trying to count...if you’re anything like me, there is a lot. And no, it doesn’t mean that we shop too much. Mistakes come in all shapes and sizes: cheap quality, doesn’t do what was expected, you hardly use it, it was an impulse buy, you overpaid, you didn’t budget properly...need I go on?
The growth mindset world constantly encourages us to learn from our failures.
I love the quote “experience is that thing you get right after you needed it”. Take a second and let that one sink in for a minute…
So let’s bring this back to kids and money. Sometimes we want to protect our kids so much, that we don’t want to let them make mistakes. But in protecting them from mistakes, we prevent them from building their own bank of experiences.
What we can do as parents is to let them fail, but find ways for them to practice failing with their training wheels on, so to speak.
When it comes to money, I can either control all their spending, or empower them to manage their own money now. They are going to make mistakes with their money….if you don’t let them do it when they’re younger, for example with allowance money...well, it will be when they’re older, with their paychecks.
My Ah-Ha Moment
I’ve spoken several times about our approach to having or kids save their own spending money for vacations, such as Disney (oh, the merchandise!)
We used to put some budgetary limits in place for them...like, only one item per day.
But recently we’ve started letting them budget for themselves. If they want to blow it in one day, so be it. But they are forewarned: a failure to plan on your part, does not constitute a crisis on mine…
They have made some budgeting mistakes. I have heard “If I had known there would be so much cool stuff today, I wouldn’t have spent so much yesterday!” And as a result, we do not have a remote controlled Avatar banshee at our house.
But you better believe it that this year, the budgeting was on! Purchases were thoughtfully considered. Decisions were put off until later in the trip.
We let them make a mistake. Sure it meant that they had the disappointment of not getting something they wanted. But I’d prefer them to learn from that mistake, than to learn from accidentally spending the mortgage payment...right?
Family Movie Night
Pop the popcorn, and pop in Finding Nemo.
Both Nemo and his dad, Marlin, make some mistakes, but they learn from them and grow. They are two very different fish by the end of the movie.
Lunch Box Notes
Don't forget to download our free lunch box notes about learning from our mistakes...a little daily dose of inspiration for your kids.