Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Kids: Savers vs Spenders

It never ceases to amaze me how very different my kids are while at the same time having so many similarities. As parents, we understand that our kids aren’t the same in personality, appearance, abilities, etc. So, when it comes to spending, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at their differences.

My oldest daughter has always been fantastic at saving her money. Since she was a little girl she would save every penny, nickel, dollar, or gift card. She didn’t get this trait from me.

My second daughter wasn’t as great at saving when she was younger. There was always some shiny that needed to be purchased. That is something I used to know all too well.

My oldest son is the same way as my second daughter. He talks about all the things he wants to save up for, but ends up spending what he has. He’s been talking for years about getting a Chevy Camaro when he can drive. More power to you Buddy if you can do it, but it won’t happen with the way you spend money.

My youngest is similar to my oldest daughter. He saves his money and gift cards. He’s been saving up for about a year for an iPod Touch. That’s the biggest thing he’s wanted. Last year he wanted a Nintendo DS. He got that as well as his new shiny iPod Touch.

The interesting part of this, is how alike my kids are. My oldest and youngest are similar in many ways: personality, appearance, their hearts, etc. My two middles are also mirror each other in temperament, personality, and both have ADD-I(Inattentive).

IMG_3092I wonder if the ADD-I is the common denominator between how my middle kids spend vs save their money. With ADD, we don’t always make the best choices. We have a tendency to be impulsive. I’ve gotten much better at not spending impulsively since I was younger. In fact, it’s the last thing I do these days, especially as a single mom on a very tight budget.

Is the fact that my bookend kids don’t have ADD a reason why they’re so good with their money and spend it wisely and with more thought? I don’t know, but at this point, that’s the only thread between the kids that makes sense to me.

So, my youngest got his iPod. Now, of course, my older son can hardly contain himself. He’s constantly talking about what he’s going to do when he gets his own, how much money he needs before he can get it, etc. He keeps finding accessories and his background picture. He knows what apps he wants to download.

Empty walletMeanwhile, he just bought wireless headphones. They weren’t much, but the point is, he still bought them. lol Poor kid. When he makes these purchases, I try to talk to him about what his plans are with his money and if he’s sure he wants to make the purchase. If it’s a “yes,” then I might let him buy the item.  It is his money after all and he will hopefully learn from these choices. By the same token, when I see that it’s simply and impulse, he’s been scanning sites for old LEGO sets, I tell him, “no.” I won’t enable his spending either.

Doodle said to Buddy the night I brought home the iPod, “You’re a spender, I’m a saver.” It’s interesting that even he sees this at only 9 yrs old.

If you have multiple children, do you see a difference in how they are with their money? How do you help them with how they spend or save their money?


Diana said...

I think you're on to something there with the spending vs. saving trait for kids with ADD-I. My son (almost 21 not) is also ADD-I and he works, and it's his money but I hear him talk about "wanting" to save for this or that... yet he ends up spending his money on something else before. Of course having a girlfriend to spend it on increases that. :)

I tend to think I'm ADD for many of the traits they carry... spending vs. saving being another one that I think you've discovered. :)

Liz Mays said...

I always made my kids save half of whatever money they had coming in. That half could never be touched, ever. It was to be permanently saved. Then they were absolutely free to use the other half however they wanted to use it. They're both very careful how they spend their money, always have been and probably always will since they're adults already.

Vidya Ravi said...

I am 24. I speak about saving, but I still can't help spending either. But, I try to teach the children their priority in life..advice don't do well with me, so I guess it should be the same for them as well.

Lisa B. said...

My children are little, but seem like night & day! I've never heard of ADD-I before. I'll have to find out more about that.

mom2blmgn said...

I have 5 kids, all with various forms of autism and 4 have other disorders as well. My oldest daughter is 24 and works, so she tries to be a penny-pincher (as I call her) but since I do not charge her rent, I make her buy the groceries (for a family of 7) that last week of every month. She's currently saving up for a $1200 mattress set. Me, I can save, but I also love spending money, so I'm 50/50. My younger kids don't really understand the concept of money - they just think since I have credit cards/debit cards/checkbooks, that I have an endless supply of money. My kids are all different in their personalities, whereas my 24yr old and my 10yr old look just like me, my 22yr old, 16yr old and 11yr old look just like my husband - but they are all sooo very different as individuals.

Teressa Morris said...

My oldest is a spender. He is 20 now and refuses to keep a check register or spreadsheet (like Quicken etc.) to keep track of his finances. He overdraws his account at least once a month. My youngest is a saver and always knows exactly how much money he has in his account. My oldest does display many of the symptoms of ADD and I do think that has a lot to do with it.

Mel said...

I only have one but he seems to have a balance of the spender and the saver (when it comes to his own money). Oh my...the light just went off. If he feels like he can ask me for something in an effort to save this money, he does. Oh, me!

Unknown said...

I think all my children, work hard for their money and spend it pretty wisely. But they are so different in some aspects but too alike in others.

Clancy Cash Harrison MS, RD, LDN said...

I was just talking to my husband about teaching our children about monetary health. I appreciate this post.

Amanda said...

As a kid I always spent money the minute I had it and my little sister saved, saved, saved. We always joked that she was the bank of the house because even my parents would borrow from her if they needed cash in a pinch.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

My kids are in the middle, but they've never had to really save for something expensive, so I guess that makes them more likely to make an impulse purchase.

Tree said...

I definitely do see a difference in some ways.. and not so much in others. My twin boys, for example.. one is a spender.. he can hardly keep money in his pocket for an hour. The other will save and save.. and usually makes good choices with what he wants to buy. And one is ADHD and the other ADD.. so not sure that makes a difference or not. lol

Unknown said...

My youngest is a saver. My oldest is a spender (this out of the two still at home). No matter what I do, the older one will NOT save his money. Even if I tell him he cannot spend it, he ends up sneaking it out, or getting his Dad to let him spend it. So, he gets upset when the youngest buys something good after saving for a long time. Someday they will learn!

The Penny-Wise Mama said...

My 10 yr old still doesn't really get the importance of saving. He wants to spend it as soon as he earns it! lol

fancygrlnancy said...

My mom was always frugal and I am too. I have a hard time spending my hard earned money so I am a saver. I really want to teach my children to save and be frugal.

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