I'm not sure if Dave Ramsey would approve of this or not. Some psychologist might say it is harmful to our childrens' well-being. But so is sugar and white flour. You pick your battles.
Here's what happened:
We have been discussing housing with our children...how we can either rent a home or own a home. We're somewhere in between those two. Every month, we explained, we make a house payment so that we slowly pay off our house, until one day, we will own it, free and clear.
Only a few days later, Real Gil loaded the whole family up and we went to the bank to make a substantial payment on the house, one he had been working on for a while now. It was exciting!
Later, Sugs mentioned how great it was that we owned the house now. Hmm...how do I explain this to a four-year old? I thought...
So, inside my wardrobe, I posted this amateur drawing:
Although you can't see the grid lines, it is broken up into house payment increments and as we make payments on the house, we color in more areas. You can see we have a long way to go, but one day, this picture is going to be full of color!
This has been very helpful to the kids, and even for me. We've noticed how readily they accept the answer "No" in response to their requests to purchase things, usually, in the checkout line when they are begging for Skittles. Being a good steward of God's money means that someday, we might own our house and have more to GIVE each month. There's something about showing, by example, that delaying gratification, planning, and carefully saving can be rewarding to us and to others in the long-run.
It's been exciting, and has definitely kept me focused on our goal to be mortgage-free some day.
There are so many different opinions on finances and children. Do you do an allowance? Commission? Chores for no pay or pay? And how do you balance good stewardship while also curtailing materialism? All challenging issues for this household!
But for now, I'm happy to color in these lines when we can.
Resting in Him who Provides,