My husband and I are savers (he more than I). We tuck away money here and there in our savings account and are very careful about spending money on frivolous things, especially now that I have changed my work title to stay-at-home mom. And if you've read many of my posts you'd see that I love recycling and reusing items for new purposes.
When it comes to imagining how we will teach SoJo how to handle money, we definitely want to start as soon as he understands the concept of currency.
In both of our childhood homes, my husband and I learned the value of money. Although my father made a good salary as a chemical engineer, we were a family of 7 so we had to stretch our income. Our trips to the grocery store were for food, not for point-of-sale purchases. We learned that early on.
For my husband, his parents had to make-do on a smaller salary, so he too found that he needed to save his pennies in order to buy that extra-special something. His parents recall with a mixture of fondness, laughter and mild disappointment the time when he spent the $25 he painstakingly saved on a lifesize Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cardboard cutout from a local comic book store (what a dork...I mean, typical teenager!). But hey, it was his money that he saved, and he knew how many extra chores it took to earn that cardboard monstrosity. I'll bet that thing's worth $500 today. How's that for compound interest?
It was also very enlightening for both of us to have had after school jobs. We both worked in grueling circumstances (me in retail at a smoky Dunkin' Donuts, he in manual laborer at a greenhouse), so it made us value the pursuit of a college education so we wouldn't have to work in those fields (my apologies to those of you in those fields...I'm not saying they're bad; our personalities just weren't suited for them).
When it comes to our son, we definitely want to "pay" him for contributing to some work around the house. Whether that is through a chore chart or some other method, I think it's important for him to understand the concept of earning something and deciding whether to save or spend it. We can't wait for the day when we can walk him down to the local bank for him to open his first savings account. I think we'll wait until he's a little older for my husband to expound upon the benefits of compound interest.
This post was written as part of the Parent Blogger's Network for their Money Doesn't Grow on Trees Blog Blast sponsored by Capital One and their new Moneywi$e eLearning tool. Check it out, it's pretty cool.