Friday, March 13, 2009

"Pay Jobs"

"Mom, can I have ____, I NEED ___, I want ____, Jonny has ____," and on and on it goes! My kids can't be the only ones affected by the HUGE advertising methods used to target kids. Companies spend a ton of money to get your kids to WANT things so that we BUY them!!! These marketing campaigns are working. Parents do spend their money on stuff for their children. Lots of parents fork out LOTS of money on the new movies, the new gaming systems, sports equipment, extra curricular activities, electronics, clothes, shoes, etc!

Choosing Simplicity in our home: My husband and I decided toghether that we will provide our children with ALL of their basic needs. They won't be lacking in any NEED. We also have decided that we will provide a FEW extras. We are careful about what we CHOOSE because we can't do and have it all. We enjoy giving our children "extras", but are careful about keeping a balance.

What happens if one of our kids has a WANT that isn't included in our provision??? They EARN the money to buy it. PERIOD. They do "Pay Jobs" around the house. Things that go beyond their daily "because you are part of the family" chores. They WORK (shocking) for their extra WANTS!!!!

They don't have the "gimmies", because they KNOW that STUFF has a REAL price tag. They appreciate what extras they have since they have INVESTED their time and effort into acquiring that item. (and they really feel BLESSED to be GIVEN things... they do not take them for granted) They do sometimes feel frustrated and jealous of kids that get EVERYTHING from their parents..... hey, I can relate! Sometimes I feel frustrated and jealous of others having things I don't. Watching others spend money on things (or spending debt) is a LIFE LONG battle my children will face. I want them to learn from DAY 1 that things come with a price and that STUFF doesn't equal joy!!!

So, my "frugal Friday" tip of the week is to set a LIMIT to what you will buy for your children and then let them EARN the extras. Have a plan, and then go with it. You will be amazed by how much less they "want" and how much effort they will put in to attaining things that they really VALUE having. It will teach them far more than money management.... it will teach them character traits like dedication, honesty, determination, respect and confidence. They will gain real life SKILLS as they do jobs!! I am so proud of the skills and abilities my children have gained while doing "Pay Jobs". In fact, just last night I came home from an evening meeting to a CLEAN kitchen.... thanks to my 11 year old son that KNOWS how takle a messy kitchen!!!

More DETAILS about specifics and how we implement this can be found here.

For more "frugal friday" ideas visit Life As Mom.



Barb J. said...

My son is helping to plow the garden because he wanted a certain Lego. He is doin this in addition to his daily chores and schoolwork. Glad to see someone else who thinks the same way!

tammi said...

YES! Man, with each passing post, I think to myself, "I NEED SOME FACE TIME WITH THIS WOMAN!!"

Now, as someone who's been thinking about this a lot together with her husband, but hasn't ever actually formulated a PLAN, can you tell me what your kids' "because you're a part of this family" chores are (specifically what you expect from each age) and some examples of "pay jobs" around your home might be?

Leslie said...

I agree totally. I haven't actually did "pay jobs" yet. But my kids use birthday and Christmas money towards the extra things they want. This also makes them think twice about spending their money on candy or some cheap toy that will break as soon as you get it home. I will have to think of some "pay jobs". Picking up rocks from the garden sounds like a good one!

Leanne said...

AMEN, HEATHER. One reason we only let the boys watch PBS is so they can not see advertising. They are getting at the age of wanting and expecting everything, so we are working on that, too.
What age did you start your "pay jobs"? This was a great post, by the way!