Yes, you are looking at a picture of an expired coupon. Why, you say? I promise, stick with me for a moment, there’s a moral to the story. You see, last night after dinner, my 7-year-old came into my room and excitedly announced,”Mom, you’re gonna love this!” I said, “What?” He then handed me a small, piece of paper that I unfolded to find a 75/1 coupon for Honey Nut Cheerios. I told him thank you and asked where he found it. He then said, “It was just lying on the floor in my classroom.” (My Lord…I’ve trained him well!:) When I thanked him again, but told him it expired in December he said, “That was a long time ago.” I just laughed.
Yes, when my kids grocery shop with me, they have learned to get pullies/blinkies…I don’t even ask. They also understand that we stick to our list, and don’t usually buy ANYTHING unless it’s on sale and we have a coupon. But, this got me to thinking about an even more important lesson we should all be teaching our kids, and that’s about saving and budgeting.
Kids can see everyday examples of us saving on purchases, whether from the use of coupons, or just snagging a good deal. Saving on expenses and teaching overall life, lessons about money can be more difficult for young kids because the results are less tangible/immediate. However, it’s our job as parents to make this real for them.
I’m certainly not claiming to be a guru in this area, but as summer approaches and children get out of school, let’s all make the commitment to teach them a little more about money and budgeting for the future. Whether it’s for that new pair of shoes or even their own college fund, kids can start somewhere. My 11-year-old recently asked me about making money this summer and even came up with his own pitch for neighbors. I was quite proud.
Children should understand it takes money to pay the bills and save for the future, which sometimes means they don’t have to have the latest and greatest and neither do we. Hopefully, this understanding about financial planning, work ethic and sometimes sacrifice, will literally pay off.