Zacharie Piggy At The BankIt’s never too soon to talk to your kids about money. We opened bank accounts for the boys when they were not yet old enough to write their own names.

We would drop spare coins from our pockets into the piggy banks in their rooms. When the pigs got full, we’d put the money in the bank accounts.

That notion of saving has worked well for our boys. From big building block sets to new books to a trip to Florida, when it comes to things “they really want,” they have to spend their own money – not mine.

Yes, I said a trip to Florida. At 8 yrs old, Zacharie saved birthday money, spare coins, and leveraged money earned from a viral video and some bank account deposit bonuses into enough money to pay for his own plane ticket to Florida. When it came time for him to take expensive dance lessons at a ‘real’ dance studio instead of the city recreation center, he paid for those. When he wanted a new bike, he paid for that too.

Zacharie's Orange Bike

All before his 9th birthday.

It is a lesson I’m trying to teach my kids that took me a long time to learn. I’ve been an instant gratification kind of person my whole life. When I see it, I want it. I’ve impulse bought, I’ve racked up credit card debt, I’ve had to borrow from my future to pay for my past.

I don’t want that for my kids. So when they want the big huge building block kit, they know they need to spend their own money to get it. When they want to pick a special place to go on vacation that might not have been in the family budget (like Florida), they know they have to pay their share.

It’s a delayed gratification process to think long term. When they get some found money, they don’t need to spend it right away, they can collect it for something bigger later on.

It’s a lesson that Interac* helps me live. When I spend via Interac Debit, I live within my means. I think about each purchase as a need or a want.  Whipping out your credit card can often lead to overspending and buying things you may not need. Which can result in more fees and higher interest.

So I’m teaching my kids to evaluate needs and wants, and learning the lesson myself with a little plastic card in my wallet that forces me to be responsible with a quiet little nudge.

Check out this new video to get in the spirit.

Right now my son is looking forward to spending his money next on a boomerang. We’re headed to Australia for our summer vacation and he’s collecting quarters to get a boomerang from Down Under.

Me? I’m looking to spend mine on a tent trailer so we can extend our camping trips in warmth into the spring and fall. I’ve seen many online that I could have bought already, but I don’t have the money – yet. But when I do have the money, I’ll be ready to enjoy summer, debt free.

What are you and your kids spending your money on?

*Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation. Interac is a registered trade-mark of Interac Inc. Used under licence.

Disclosure: This branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada.

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