I’ve mentioned several times that my daughter really doesn’t “get” money. She doesn’t care to earn it. She doesn’t care to keep it. She just doesn’t care if she has any or not. When she does get some money she just spends it on the first thing she sees.
A few months ago she surprised me by putting herself on the envelope system. That didn’t last long. She came to me the other day with about $30 and said she saw on TV how Build-a-Bear workshop has a sale going on and you can get a bear with a complete outfit for $29.99. I have no idea where she got the $30 but I try to explain that even if that sale is true, there is no way it’s going to be $29.99 out the door.
I pull up the Build-a-Bear website and show her that it’s only certain bears with certain outfits on sale. Plus she then would have to pay for tax and shipping. Besides the fact that this is all money she has in the whole world.
“What happened to your envelopes?” I ask
“I threw them away”
“Do you want to save money?”
“Ok, let’s do this. We will make one envelope for saving and one for spending. Just two envelopes instead of like 5 that we had before. Would that help?”
So we got two envelopes. She wrote “SAVINGS” on one and “SPENDING” on the other. I let her decide how much to put into each envelope. She decided on her own to split her money evenly. While I’m proud that she chose such a high percentage to put into savings I also worry that maybe it’s too much. Maybe I should have let her have more spending money?
After we had the money all separated I asked if I could hold on to the “SAVINGS” envelope. She reluctantly agreed but I knew that if I let her hang on to it the whole exercise would have been pointless.
A few days later I walk into her room and her “SPENDING” envelope is lying open on the floor with money strewn about mixed in with toys and trash on her messy floor. I say nothing. A couple of days later I can’t take it anymore and I say something like “You aren’t really showing respect for your money. It’s all over the floor”.
She made no move to pick it up and I left it alone. I never mentioned it again but it stayed there for about another week until she finally cleaned her room. I don’t know where it is now. I assume she got it all picked up an none of it ended up in the trash. Who knows?