While cleaning the house for a guest, I had to stop and start writing. (I know, I was devastated too.) I need to be inspired as the holiday season starts ramping up and couldn’t lose the thoughts!
My mind went back to this weekend when I was selling makeup and books in a neighborhood event. (Yes, I was selling makeup at one end of the table and a book about spending less on the other. It is about balance!) The girls came to “help me” set up and saw the lady behind me with cute jewelry. Lauren showed me a bracelet she wanted that cost $15. Problem was she only had $2. It is because she keeps giving her money away, but still. They have been doing well with using their own money on toys. I told her we could let her earn the rest. By the time their daddy came to pick them up, she had decided she didn’t want it that bad and left it. I texted James later to ask if she still wanted it and he said she was good. Why didn’t I just let it go when she originally put it down?
The truth is we all want our kids to be happy, and we get tricked into thinking that means more stuff. I continually remind myself not to try to buy my girls every little thing they want, (not that we could come close to that.) It is a battle that I have to stay ahead of.
The sooner kids learn to walk away, the better they will be with money as adults. If we can show them how to be content with what they have, they will have so much more peace. That’s right, they need to see us do it too. They should see us admiring something and then putting it back.
I am not sure when this mentality of “more is more” began to not be a phase to grow out of. When it became acceptable for adults to “get the gimmes,” to borrow a phrase from the Berenstain Bears. People used to not decide they HAD to have something, and I would love to see us go back to that.
There is nothing wrong with simple. Having a house that is not stuffed is nothing to be ashamed of. Liking something and then walking away really is an art. It needs to be practiced to be perfected. It has to be shown to our children and not just told.
Our girls have learned a lot this past year, right alongside their parents. We are all growing and figuring out how to use our money properly without letting it use us.
Money will have a life of its own if we let it. Let’s model for our kids how to say no. Let’s teach them to walk away happily. The month before Christmas is a great time to learn we don’t need more stuff to be happy.
Let’s demonstrate the art of walking away to our kids.
Linking with Holley Gerth