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  • FIRST POST
    • RubyRedRidingHood
    • By RubyRedRidingHood 20th Sep 16, 1:09 PM
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    RubyRedRidingHood
    Being a better example to our kids??
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 16, 1:09 PM
    Being a better example to our kids?? 20th Sep 16 at 1:09 PM
    Hi All

    So, we are now nearing the end of our journey to a debt free future with only 7.5k remaining on one credit card. For us this is a good thing as we have had debt on top of our mortgage totalling 50k at one point in the last 10 years and we are hoping to clear this by March next year. To some degree we have tried to shelter our 11 year old son from the majority of worries, sleepless nights etc, however we do realise that our views on money do transfer somewhat to him as well as how we expect him to treat money, and the way our son spends his pocket money, birthday money etc and when he wants mum and dad to buy something for him.

    So now we find ourselves in this current situation with our son:

    1 - Now every time he does something well or does something we tell him we are proud of, we get the 'do I get any money for that'

    2 - He has decided he wants a PlayStation4 as now he has gone to high school more kids use the PS4 than the Xbox. At the start of the year we set a challenge for him to encourage him to save his money as we were worried that he was buying things for instant gratification instead of saving for what he really wanted and we all know where that leads. So we challenged him that anything he saved above 100 pounds and that was in his bank account at the 31st December we would match. This has worked a treat...to some degree as he has managed to save 172 pounds to date. So the conversation until today has gone somewhat like this:

    Him: When I get to Christmas and you've matched my money I want to get an Xbox/PS4
    Me: Yes that's fine as long you leave 200 pounds in your account to build on next year
    Him: Yes that's fine cause I'm going to have about 500 pounds (his goal is to have 300 at 31st December for us to match 200 of it)

    The conversation changed this morning to 'can I sell my Xbox and Lego because I want my PS4 now. (he has a lot of Star Wars collectable Lego)

    So....

    Question 1 - How do you deal with your kids asking for money for rewards??? Do you have any ways of nipping this in the bud permanently (We give him pocket money for doing chores when he wants extra money, we also give him the occasional reward when he does something that warrants it like passing his SATS etc but it's not him asking we just do it) As we are still on our debt free journey we try not to do this too frequently.

    Question 2 - Are we setting him up to fail financially if we let him sell things to get instant gratification, when if he waits a few months he will be able to buy it outright? I don't have anything against selling things if you no longer want or need them but it feels like he is selling them to get what he wants not because he doesn't want or need them if that makes sense? Am I being a meanie mummy by saying no?

    Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks
    Nikkei
Page 1
    • changeforbetter
    • By changeforbetter 20th Sep 16, 1:23 PM
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    changeforbetter
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 16, 1:23 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 16, 1:23 PM
    My thoughts would initially be: well done for considering this issue of the way your son views money. I have kids, and I know I am a terrible example to them in many ways. I feel determined they are not as bad as I used to be in that respect.

    I'd say introducing him to the idea of selling doesn't seem too terrible. At least he's learning about value of things, and relation to his own funds. (Far worse to learn about lending,credit in comparison). When I was younger I was given a fair bit of money, and started some credit (overdraft) relatively young. Also borrowing from my parents. If I could not have experienced any one thing at a young age it would be the idea of borrowing and credit. It taught me to be blase about cost. Anything else financial I say, let them experience it as much as possible.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 20th Sep 16, 4:21 PM
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    Smodlet
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 4:21 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 16, 4:21 PM
    Your son is 11 and the only incentive he has to do chores/well at school/anything is money???

    Your praise and the appreciation in your eyes and voices should be all the reward he needs to try his hardest. Money should not even be a factor in passing SATs/whatever. How does he think he is going to get a good job and earn a decent salary if he does not do his best at school? There is the monetary reward. No, it is not instant, it is long-deferred but no less real for that. If he can understand that effort = monetary reward, he can understand having to wait for it. You get paid at the end of the month, not the moment you have finished one task, after all.

    Teaching him to save for things he wants will stand him in better stead than any form of quick gratification fix. You know this better than I; you learned the hard way and have, to a significant extent, climbed out of the hole you dug for yourself. Well done. Surely the best lesson is how to avoid digging that hole in the first place?

    If you ensure he realises that, once he has sold something, it is gone forever, he will not get it back if he decides selling it was a mistake, then perhaps that is not a bad lesson to learn. "You chose to sell it so you could have such-and-such; now you miss it, you don't just get a replacement. It was your decision, you have to live with the consequences."

    Changeforbetter answered the question when (s)he said the one aspect of finance they wish they had not learned at a young age was how easy it is to get credit. A better lesson is how hard it is to pay it back.

    Well done again and HTH.
    What is this life, if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?

    Every stew starts with the first onion.

    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 20th Sep 16, 4:47 PM
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    lessonlearned
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 16, 4:47 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 16, 4:47 PM
    I would second Smodlet.

    I don't think children should receive a monetary reward for passing exams, helping with chores or "being good".

    I think it is better to give them a set weekly or monthly allowance which they then have to learn how to manage. It's up to them whether they spend it or save it but when it's gone, it's gone. No loans, no subs. It teaches them how to budget and how to save for larger purchases.

    Re selling unwanted toys etc. I have no problem with that. Mine did it quite regularly. I also encouraged them to donate their unwanted stuff to charity.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 20-09-2016 at 4:49 PM.
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 20th Sep 16, 4:52 PM
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    missbiggles1
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 16, 4:52 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 16, 4:52 PM
    How is he saving such a large amount of money in such a short time - how much money are you actually giving him?
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 20th Sep 16, 6:11 PM
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    ReadingTim
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 16, 6:11 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 16, 6:11 PM
    I don't see a problem with selling stuff - in addition to appreciating that once it's sold it's gone, it's also a pretty sobering experience to find out how little some things are worth on the 2nd hand market in relation to their purchase price, or the amount of fun they've provided - that could be a useful lesson if he thinks he can flog his stuff to bail him out of a hole in later life...it doesn't get you very far.

    You might also want to consider this in relation to the Star Wars collectable Lego - it's probably worth less than you think it is.
    • GTR King
    • By GTR King 20th Sep 16, 11:12 PM
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    GTR King
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 16, 11:12 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 16, 11:12 PM
    if he wants a ps4 tell him he has to save up for it...

    If he has enough money at xmas you could buy him 1/2 games & playstation plus

    But don't buy it for him just because he wants one..

    Don't let him sell star wars toys just because he wants a ps4 not a good idea
    • AllyMac
    • By AllyMac 21st Sep 16, 12:09 AM
    • 28 Posts
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    AllyMac
    • #8
    • 21st Sep 16, 12:09 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Sep 16, 12:09 AM
    Why isn't it a good idea? I think it's perfectly fine to sell unwanted toys to finance more. Very sensible. And as a previous poster said, it can be sobering to find out low resale values!

    With regards to pocket money and household chores, I don't personally believe in linking the two. I've explained as much to my 7yo, as most of her friends seem to have them linked. My view - she's part of this household, she mucks in. I'm not going to pay her to put her clothes away or load the dishwasher - no-one pays me!

    And I'm totally against financial reward for exams. Especially SATS which don't mean anything anyway! Far better to study for the intrinsic reward of pride. If you have to bribe for SATS, you'd better have a big cheque book ready for GCSEs. If I ever did give money for exams, it would be for effort not result. So if my child revised every night, I might give them money... *before* the results came out.

    But no - no money here for exams or household chores.
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 21st Sep 16, 12:59 AM
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    tlc678910
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 16, 12:59 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 16, 12:59 AM
    Hi,
    Perhaps you could look at the resale value of his Xbox and Lego with him, for example see what these items are fetching on eBay, so he gets a realistic idea if the price he will get for it is worth letting it go for.

    Does he have any toys or clothes that he has actually grown out of? Perhaps he could do a car boot sale to try to raise a similar amount of money?

    Tlc
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 21st Sep 16, 6:31 AM
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    Kitten868
    I think hes done well - he wants to keep up with the other kids at school and unlike them he's waited a year. Plus I was wanted to say try cex. They're a gaming shop where you can trade in games and consoles to get credit and you can buy a second hand ps4 in there with a year's warranty (and you can check how much you'll get online). I think selling his things to get one is good. He'll have to build it up with selling his games at cex, starwars on eBay. He'll have to chase his own sales. His effort will go into making the money. It's also helping his independence. X
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    • RubyRedRidingHood
    • By RubyRedRidingHood 21st Sep 16, 1:06 PM
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    RubyRedRidingHood
    How is he saving such a large amount of money in such a short time - how much money are you actually giving him?
    Originally posted by missbiggles1
    He has saved money from Christmas last year, his grandparents also give him money for doing well at school - I don't agree with them giving him money for doing what I expect of him regardless of incentive, but if they want to do it, I have accepted it. For the shortfall he is currently at to his goal it will be made up of money from us and grand parents for his birthday present and Christmas present ( we are aware that we will also have to match these funds so we are giving him less than we would typically spend to compensate a little)
    • RubyRedRidingHood
    • By RubyRedRidingHood 21st Sep 16, 1:19 PM
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    RubyRedRidingHood
    Your son is 11 and the only incentive he has to do chores/well at school/anything is money???

    Your praise and the appreciation in your eyes and voices should be all the reward he needs to try his hardest. Money should not even be a factor in passing SATs/whatever. How does he think he is going to get a good job and earn a decent salary if he does not do his best at school? There is the monetary reward. No, it is not instant, it is long-deferred but no less real for that. If he can understand that effort = monetary reward, he can understand having to wait for it. You get paid at the end of the month, not the moment you have finished one task, after all.

    Teaching him to save for things he wants will stand him in better stead than any form of quick gratification fix. You know this better than I; you learned the hard way and have, to a significant extent, climbed out of the hole you dug for yourself. Well done. Surely the best lesson is how to avoid digging that hole in the first place?

    If you ensure he realises that, once he has sold something, it is gone forever, he will not get it back if he decides selling it was a mistake, then perhaps that is not a bad lesson to learn. "You chose to sell it so you could have such-and-such; now you miss it, you don't just get a replacement. It was your decision, you have to live with the consequences."

    Changeforbetter answered the question when (s)he said the one aspect of finance they wish they had not learned at a young age was how easy it is to get credit. A better lesson is how hard it is to pay it back.

    Well done again and HTH.
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    Smodlet I completely agree with you regarding the 'payment for results' mentality. Unfortunately I think we have to some degree built a rod for our own backs and have to own that. We had our son when I was 21, and I had somewhat of a poor childhood and over compensated by lots of presents for being well behaved etc. We pulled this back I would say 6 or so years ago, but precedent had been set and although we have tried to steer away from this and talk through the reasons why, he will still try it on!

    We regularly have conversations about careers, the importance of doing well at school, about having a career that you enjoy and balancing that with financials. We're trying to teach him about balance between quality and price and about making informed decisions.

    I just hope for him to have such a better start to his adult life than we had and sometimes I have to check myself, so thank you for your thoughts!
    • RubyRedRidingHood
    • By RubyRedRidingHood 21st Sep 16, 1:36 PM
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    RubyRedRidingHood
    tlc678910 , AllyMac, GTR King, ReadingTim & lessonlearned, thank you for your thoughts on selling things. I think I agree with all of your comments and both arguments for and against.

    I have no issuing with selling things, even donating things as we do it often in our household. I think my issue in this instance is that we had a plan, one that was working well and getting him to his goal and I believe this is always the best way. My concern was he now wanted to sell stuff that he had been adamant he didn't to sell in the recent past and the volume of stuff as well was much more than I was comfortable with. Maybe my logic is flawed. I guess I am comfortable with a few things every now and again if no longer wanted/needed. I'm not so comfortable with selling lots of stuff just to enable another purchase when stuff is not unwanted or unneeded.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 22nd Sep 16, 6:10 PM
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    Smodlet
    Many of us had "poor" childhoods, Ruby, whether in a material or emotional sense, or both. You are trying to teach your son values, real values, I am sure, like how to be a decent person, the value of truth, that respect and trust have to be earned. There is no price you can put on these things, which are more valuable than anything material. Oh, please virtually slap me, I'm in danger of getting profound (for me)

    What do you think your son is going to remember ten, or certainly twenty years from now? How you made him sell his Star Wars lego because you would not just give him a ps4 or that you taught him actions have consequences? That life is not free? That you get nothing for nothing? That there are no rights without responsibilities?

    Teach him how to cook, he will never wish you had not and time spent away from a computer screen, especially at his age, is time well-spent.

    "A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." Oscar Wilde.

    OK, I'm done.
    Last edited by Smodlet; 22-09-2016 at 6:13 PM.
    What is this life, if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?

    Every stew starts with the first onion.

    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 22nd Sep 16, 9:43 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I would not have an issue with him selling unwanted stuff to go towards something he really wants.

    I would however be wary of him receiving money every time he does well in school. The occasional reward is ok but if there is an expectancy he will get money every time then I would view that as a bad precedent to set. Similarly he should not always expect you to match money saved particularly if it is not money earned. Being gifted it by grandparents is not the same thing. If he does chores then again he should not always expect to get money.
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    • DD265
    • By DD265 23rd Sep 16, 3:13 PM
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    DD265
    For those saying that financial incentives for doing well in school aren't necessarily positive - what about performance related pay in adult life? I'm not sure I see it as that different, other than as an adult you'd specifically contract on that basis.

    We were never short on things as children, and we were also rewarded for doing well both in school and out. I wouldn't say it made us work any less or more hard and other than if we'd been told if you do X, we'll do/give you Y, we didn't expect it. We've both grown up into well adjusted adults. I guess the difference is we didn't ask for a reward; it was always offered or never mentioned.
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    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 23rd Sep 16, 9:29 PM
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    theoretica
    Does he understand how much less his stuff will fetch 2nd hand than it cost new?

    If he sells his stuff would he get enought to buy the PS? Can he produce a realistic plan?

    Would he also need to use the cash he has saved? So be unlikely to have much for you to match. Has he calculated how much free money from you he would be giving up? I think you should ask him to include this in his proposal. (And of course you might well give him games rather than money for Christmas!)
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • Sanctioned Parts List
    • By Sanctioned Parts List 23rd Sep 16, 11:22 PM
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    Sanctioned Parts List
    My parents paid me to do chores... but I only got paid if the work met their standards. I couldn't just throw a vacuum cleaner around a bit and claim a fiver - cash was only paid on acceptance of the work - and in the beginning it got rejected a lot. Useful lesson, that.

    WRT OP's issue - does the PS4 have to be new? The PS4's not exactly a new machine now, and good condition second-hand units are available on fleabay or from Computer Exchange (CEX, thesedays).

    • RubyRedRidingHood
    • By RubyRedRidingHood 24th Sep 16, 9:12 PM
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    RubyRedRidingHood
    Hi All

    Thank you for your responses, they are greatly appreciated!

    So decided to call a family meeting to discuss and we spoke about the value of things and the second hand market, I also asked him to read through this thread so he could also see others thoughts. He's now decided to wait until after the 31st December (which I am so happy about). He's now contemplating whether to buy new or secondhand, and I do have to say I am impressed with the maturity he is demonstrating when he is talking this through with us.

    Sanctioned... - yes we have had to teach the same lesson about quality, not just racing through to get pennies! He's currently trying to figure out whether he wants to buy a new or secondhand one. All machines to date have been seconhand and there's never been any issues with them. I'm hoping he will choose secondhand but I'm trying to let him make his own decision... It's hard!!!!

    DD265 - I agree, in lots of work environments we are incentivised to achieve with bonuses, pay rises etc and therefore why not learn this lesson now? That said, we don't ever stipulate an incentive for achieving to him, but will choose on occasion to give him a reward. I guess I want to encourage him to want to achieve for himself.

    Enthusiasti... - the monetary match was not intended to be a permanent thing, it was intended to make him think about saving and teach him about interest. Thus far it has worked and I am hoping that once the year is through, he will still save his money knowing the bank will pay him a little more for keeping it there. Here's to hoping!!!
    • Muttipops
    • By Muttipops 24th Sep 16, 9:54 PM
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    Muttipops
    I expect it is also hard to say no to your child, if many of the other children at school are encouraged to get good SAT's levels etc,etc by the promise of laptops, mobile phones, etc; I wonder what those parents do if the child gets lower grades than expected?


    The family meeting is a brilliant idea; I think it is very important for children to be listened to and encouraged to be part of the decision making process, with their views taken into account.


    This has been a very interesting topic of conversation on this forum; thanks for starting it off, RubyRRH.
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