When Jonathan was five years old we went to the local toy store. After a while Jonathan found a toy that he liked. I knew that this toy was probably more money than what he had. But we went to the checkout lane anyway.
At the checkout lane, the young man at the cashier smiled at us as we approached. When Jonathan went up to him he reached up and placed all the money he had on top of the counter. The young man smiled at him and said he was sorry but that wasn’t enough to pay for the toy.
My mother’s heart tugged at me and I felt for him. Yet I knew there was a lifelong lesson he was about to learn, “if you don’t have it, you don’t spend it.”
So we told Jonathan that if he really wanted that toy then he would have to save up more money. Several weeks later Jonathan finally had the amount needed to purchase the toy. What was interesting though was that when we went back to the toy store he no longer wanted that specific toy he had wanted so bad the time before. He ended up purchasing another toy.
This experience taught Jonathan two important lessons.
A. You spend only when you have the money.
B. You need to really think through if what you are purchasing is really what you want.
Here is a more recent picture of our growing family in December 2014.
Dave Ramsey: 9 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money
1. To seasoned parents: What important lessons or values did you teach your kids when they were growing up?
2. To newer parents: What important lessons or values do you want to pass onto your kids?