Our close friends know what Dave Ramsey advocates Blake and I both are and it made sense for us to introduce Carter and Addie to some of his principles before the age of twenty-three, which is how old Blake and I initially were.
Eighteen months ago, Carter received this piggy bank and it has been sitting on his dresser ever since. We didn't want to push anything on him but when opportunities arose since that time, we explained what it was for. Any time he got money from someone, say ten bucks from Mema for Halloween, we would explain how he can put $4 in the "spend," $3 in the "save," $2 in the "donate" and the last one in the "invest." Since he was so young, he has really never questioned it and now just thinks that is normal.
There are several things that are just plain expected in our house since the kids were two, like bringing their plates to the sink after each meal, feeding the dogs and picking up their rooms and toys around the house. But then we realized that there were other extra things the kids would want to help with, like picking up dog poop with daddy, washing the windows with mommy or helping fold laundry. We never ask them to do it but are always willing to encourage them to if they would like. They know that those certain "chores" are worth 25 cents or maybe even 50 cents. Carter helped wash daddy's car a few times for a high dollar sum of $1.
I noticed last week that Carter's piggy bank was starting to gett full and started thinking of an item he had been admiring of his Cousin Marshall's all summer... a pair of "REAL" swim team flippers. As much time as we spend at the pool, I thought this would be a good first thing for Carter to get to purchase with his own money and he was all about it!!!! We first went to Marshall's Championship Swim meet at Blossom and then headed to the store where I was certain we would be in and out with a new set of fins in less than five minutes flat. (Notice the bag of money Carter had in his hand that we wouldn't let out of his sight.)
Boy was I wrong and looking back, I think God had a plan. He wanted Carter and I to remember this first "commission buying" experience because not only was the first specialty swim place sold out of his size flippers but so was Academy, Leslie Pool Supply, Love to Swim and Sun & Ski Sports. This twenty minute quick lesson for Carter turned into a nearly two hour excursion all across town. I sincerely do believe this happened for a reason... Carter and I got to talk and talk and TALK about what it means to work, what we do with our money, why we take care of what we have and so on. Carter didn't complain once about getting in and out of the car over seven times. (Notice the bag still glued to his hand.)
I had started explaining to Carter what AMAZON.COM was and how we could maybe have the flippers here by Wednesday if we rushed home now to order. He really wasn't to excited about this method... some four year instant gratification thing, I guess. But then, after one last Google search on my EVO, I found a store called DJ's inside 410. Not only did they have the EXACT flippers we needed, they were the cheapest of the all the stores!! I had called to see if they had them while we were en route and explained to them I had a very excited little boy in the car!
The icing on the cake was that DJ's Sporting Goods officially closes at 3PM on Saturdays and Carter and I arrived a 3:15. My heart melted when I saw the closed sign and time but was in shock when they were standing at the door ready to unlock it in order to let Carter Brown in and make his very first purchase. What great young men!
Just as we had talked about two hours before, Carter brought his "donation" money to church that night and got to give his very own earned tithe for the VERY FIRST time. The whole way home he asked what chores he needed to do to buy a Spider Man Fishing Pole that he saw at Academy. So... I think he's already getting the point. ;)