Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reality of Our Times

In my fourth grade classroom, we have an economics system where students get paid each week with classroom money and part of their pay goes towards "rent" for their desks.  Once they have saved $200, they can purchase their desk and no longer have to pay rent.  They also have the option to purchase someone else's desk so they are now getting a paycheck plus the rent money from someone else.  Sounds easy to do, but also within our system each child gets two opportunities in the year to bring in goods to sell.  This could be candy, trinkets they have lying around the house or some other treat they might find or make.  It has been interesting to see who spends their money and who saves it.  We are nearing the end of the year quickly and thus far only three of my students have purchased their desks! I have watched these students over the months blow all of their money on a sale day...and mostly on junk.  I thought for sure most of my class would be proud desk owners by now, but no such luck.  I began to wonder if this has any correlation with how their parents handle their money?  I can only guess that it is.  I know now more than ever that I do not want to pass bad spending habits on to my own children, and the way they see me swipe my credit card time and time again (and often want to swipe it for me and sign their name), I may have already planted a seed for spending.  There are too many young people these days who do not value the worth of a dollar and feel they are entitled to anything and everything because their parents give them anything and everything.  I don't want my children to be one of those people; I know how to say "no" and my girls accept "no," for the most part  : ).  I just need to learn to say "no" to myself and accept it!


5 comments:

  1. Great post :) What incentive do they have to "own" their desk? Not pay rent anymore?

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    1. Yes, and they get to pocket their entire paycheck. It also allows them to purchase other people's desks. :)

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  2. I think the desk rental project that you guys have done this year is a great idea. Even though a lot of them are not making the best choices about how to spend their "money" now, it does plant the seed for them to spend more wisely as they get older. I know that as a kid, I did a great job saving (I bought my own tv when I was in 4th grade, saved for an entire year to go to Spain for a foreign exchange program when I was a senior), but it fell away as I got older and had more expendable income and more access to stores where I could blow it on smaller items that added up quickly. While Nate and I have always been "savers" and don't spend more than we make, it really wasn't until we had Quinn that I took "saving" seriously since it affected whether I was able to work part time or not. Now I take pride in being able to stick to our weekly budget. Nate looked at our average spending per month in categories (eating out, groceries, gas, merchandise) and I cut each of those numbers in half as my new monthly budget goal. I keep track of our purchases on an app in my phone and it's worked really well for us. It's funny how much joy I used to get from spending is now replaced by the joy of feeling an ownership over our budget. :o)

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    1. So true Lindsey! What app do you use? I need to keep track of my spending as I spend it. I always forget to document my receipts once I get home!

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  3. I have an android and the app is called EEBA. The website for it is here: https://www.eebacanhelp.com/login.php It's nice because I can "roll over" money from week to week, or in times like Christmas, when we spent a little more than our set "merchandise" budget, I was able to get us back on track by the end of January. I always had trouble with keeping track of the receipts, too, but now I force myself to enter them in my phone as soon as I get in my car... otherwise I forget! We put everything on Discover & pay it off at the end of each month, so I log in to our Discover account once every couple of weeks just to make sure I didn't forget about any receipts. It's really helped me to be honest about my spending (and Target addiction) ;o) and it's helping us to build a healthy savings for a down payment on our next house.

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