Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I have been hearing about the book that is coming out "The Entitlement Trap" and then the other day I saw this great guest post.  This SNL video mentioned had me roaring!  And of me thinking...

Besides the obvious hilarity in this video, it is so stinking true!  It's how we are being raised in this material world (are you singing it?)...and we really need to break the cycle. 

I would like to think that I make my children earn what material things they get. Not only to prevent debt, but to value what they have. I love the concept as well as the result, but I also believe it is sometimes hard to know what is age appropriate.  Do you make your 5 year old earn a cheap toy?  Just yesterday Kai said to me,

"I deserve a toy at Target."
I said, "Do you know what deserve means?"
"Well, it means that you have done something really good..."
"Oh!  I put on my shoes when daddy told me to! I deserve a toy!"

And I thought about that.  I thought about how often I tell my kids that if they are good then they can get a treat or a toy out of the $1 bin because it's cheap and quick and easy. But what is being good?  With short attention spans...a 10 minute break with no fighting between them could be deemed as such.  Is there fairness in the "deserving?"  Quite honestly, they get a "treat or cheap toy" more often than I care to admit.  I've been wondering what to do (besides the obvious just stop buying them things)...knowing that right now my approach is not the best.  We have often used "earning" large purchases through chores as well, so we are also not the kind of parents to just give anything anytime.

Still, I want to do the right thing.  I want to raise them to work hard, save, value and earn their purchases and stay out of debt.  It's by example as well as having a plan for budgeting at an early age...and well, I need to get to it;)

What do you do?


Christina said...

Thanks for the link, Carrie. We recently sat down with our kids and talked about some family financial goals and making some cuts in our budget to accomplish those goals. It was eye opening to them, and has me determined to be more open about money with my kids. Those kinds of lessons are so important and often so neglected. I need to improve, too!

Cherie said...

I am excited about this book. Entitlement is a huge tool that Satan uses in our modern world.
Parents give to much to their children and don't teach them how to work. Children expect everything just for being on the earth. It's crazy.

I think even though the economy and real estate are in big trouble and there are major job losses, of the positives of that is that people will stop thinking they can just have anything any time they want. The thought processes are crazy.

I definately have made sure my children know that they need to be smart with money and work hard.

Great post!! I am going to watch the video now it looks hilarious!

Cherie said...

OK that was hilarious! I hope you don't mind but I am going to put it on my blog. So funny!! Thanks for posting it.

Jen O said...

We have a ticket system. I just cut a slit in the lid of a small gladware bowl, and every time they do something extra good or special (above and beyond the normal stuff), they get a ticket. Once they get 10 tickets, we go to the $1 where they can choose one thing. It works for little kids this way, but I imagine it will have to change as they grow. My sister does the same thing, but with older kids, once they get 10 tickets they can choose if they want a toy or money.

McKenna said...

Obviously we don't do this yet, but the authors of that book, the Eyres guest spoke in my Balancing Work and Family class my last semester. They suggested having a family "bank." The kids got a fake check register and a fake checkbook and they had pay day every friday or something like that. The kids had to know how much they had in their "account" and everytime they wanted to buy something in the store they would write a check out and give it to mom or dad. I thought it was a clever idea. They had to work for the money, do their chores and a few extra things.... this is just the short version of it. They had some great ideas.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

That would be hilarious...if I wasn't so guilty of that! :)

Wendy said...

We use an online job chart called With the program it is has similar aspects to the Eyre's banking system in that there is a savings, share (giving to charity or can be a tith), and spending money with attached parental approved toys/awards. Saturdays are a "pay day" of sorts with how to distribute the points. You determine how much a point is worth monetarily. It is a basic beginning to earning and a balance for us on if they deserve something.

I think it is really cute with my older son when we shop. He will ask for things he wants, and I say no. He accepts this very well knowing he can ask. He rarely pitches a fit, and if he does it is because he is hungry. This is the cute part when we shop with my husband he purposely tries to steer him away from the deserved, desirable objects because my husband doesn't want to say no. He wants to give his children everything he thought he didn't have. I think it is sweet how my Sweetheart tries to meet our children's wants and his desire to give.

That is my idea. Another favorite to help teach is the Mormon Ad from Elder Hales about how we can't afford it. It drives home a great lesson.

Bridget said...

We have a list of chores with money attached to each one. So the kids earn money for doing chores (but never for cleaning their own room or the play room). My son found $5 on my bathroom counter this morning and asked if he could have it. The first couple of times he asked, I said no. Then I got smart. I told him he could have the money and I would just deduct it from his bank account (a google doc my husband and I keep). And he said, "nah" and gave me back the $5. Ha ha. I loved that. He's learning to save for what he wants. His brothers are learning, too. When they ask for something, I ask them how much money they have. We usually don't have big fits in stores about buying stuff...we have more discussions on how to earn money.

We had an open discussion with this son a few weeks ago about our family finances. As in how much we need to pay the bank for our house as well as the old house that is now a rental. My husband told him how much we earn each month. That we had some money right now and weren't sure how to use it. We could pay down the house, buy some blinds for our windows (currently we don't have any for most of the house) or buy a swing set for the back yard. MY lovely 7 year old actually thought postponing the play set would be a good idea since they already have toys in the back yard. We were very surprised with his response and very pleased that he could set aside his desires for what was best for the family.

This boy has his financial head on straight. There's plenty of work for us to do with the other kids, though...

AJ said...

When she was an infant, I read quite a bit about this. There are so many different schools of thought but one book said you should never pay children for chores. No one should get paid for doing their part. We all need to contribute to the household. So, we set up an allowance system. Even at the age of 3 she got an allowance. Anything she wants that isn't part of her basic needs is purchased by her or she has to wait till she has the money for it. I purchased a MoonJar that is divided into Save/Share/Spend and it is up to her to divide out her money. She is surprisingly good at Saving and Sharing and has been fairly conservative with Spending all on her own. We take savings to her bank account once she reaches $100 and with allowance, birthdays, etc she has had to make a few trips.

If she chooses not to contribute to the family chores for some reason, she can also pay to have someone do them (as we adults
sometimes do) but only from her Spend section.

Her school recently asked for donations for "needy kids" and she dumped her Share section and contributed $37. She was excited to do it, too.

She carries a wallet and has learned to be fairly responsible for money....except for the time the school went to CandyTime and she came back with $5 worth of taffy. It has also really cut down on the amount of junk she has increased her desire to share. Every year on her birthday she gives 1/3 of her gifts to charity, sometimes more. We always add a note to the invitation to let people know it's a possibility that their toy will get donated to a needy child.

Lisa S said...

We never gave allowances to our two girls, and I hardly ever bought them things because they did this or that. I just didn't have the budget. When they would ask if we could get something I would say something like, "Oh I"m sorry, we can't get it this time. Maybe another day." They would be a little disappointed but seemed to get over it soon. Then it became "Do you have any money?" then to "Did you bring your money?" In middle school my youngest seemed to always have a way of making her own money. Then it became, "I have money can we go to the bank?" So we would go and withdraw her own money...and yes I felt very guilty because I did feel that I should be paying for it. But I wanted her to learn the value of a dollar. I would play devils advocate and question her about the purchase. Every once in awhile she would change her mind and not spend her money. So now she is going away to BYU-I, so I told her that she needed to find the way to pay for it. Our community college here is free the first year to local kids. She won a scholarship that pays for most
of her tuition and the school gave her an amount based on her incoming grades that makes up the difference. She is saving up for housing right now. I will help with books and food. I think she now has a really good sense of the value of a dollar. she is a great saver.

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