Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bellies and Money

{Apple juice popsicles while wearing winter coats? Yup, life in the Lower Mainland right now. Kai is so freckly and will likely be covered head to to like Gary.}
{Next sister due? Jan is due in just a week! These were taken a few weeks ago. Here she is with Sami who just turned 2.}
{Below: Jantina 39 weeks Me 32 weeks}

**Somehow below turned into a rant about being wise with money...not trying to offend anyone, just offering my opinion!! I've watched one too many episodes of `Til Debt Do Us Part'**

We have started giving Kai an allowance. Besides helping us out as he usually does, he has chores 5 days a week. They range from taking out the recycling, to making his lunch to watering the plants. He gets 4 quarters and then brings one of them to church on Sunday for the offering. The remainder goes in his piggy bank which will go to the bank. I know it's such a minimal amount, and really he would do it for free, but it's more the idea of it that I want him to understand.

I have to say that one of the greatest gifts my mom gave me was the gift of being wise with money. I think it is part of our role as parents to teach our kids, from a young age, how to be responsible with our/their finances. If you don't have enough money for something, don't buy it. This is to the point that we have saved for everything that we have and pay for it outright (except for our home). Always have money set aside for an emergency (in our case, our never ending money pit; the van). And, just because you can afford something, doesn't mean you need to buy it. Save.

The kids go grocery shopping with me every week and know how to look for sales, they know where to get the best deals (McGavins bread basket discount bakery, Two EE's for fruits and veggies etc). They know they are not getting any cereal unless it's on sale, they know that buying stuff second hand is a great option. The kids know that we don't eat out often because it ends up costing so much more. We spend about $10-$20/day on food and drinks and we eat well. Really well. If we go out to eat, maybe once every 2 months as a family, there are coupons/specials involved.

We always worked from a young age. It started with babysitting (every weekend) and then when we were 15, we had to get a job. Half the money we made went into the bank for university, the rest we could keep in our wallets (some for church). My parents did not allow us to buy a vehicle but we could borrow theirs. We would have to pay for insurance and gas during the summer months when we drove their vehicles to get to and from work but it did work out well.

I think things will be a bit trickier raising kids in this generation because there is just so much more `stuff' that they could spend money on, mainly technology. Gary and I are very uncool in that we do each have a cell phone but it's the old flip phone kind and we don't text. We don't have an iPod or iPad. We do have nice cameras, but that is work related:) Our decision to have internet access only at home is a financial one but also a way that we can fully devote our attention to our family when we are out. The other day I saw a dad and daughter having sushi and he was texting the whole time. She tried over and over to converse with him and he would just mutter something here and there. In the 20-30 minutes we were there, he didn't look away from it once. Way to make your kids feel important/valued. Same at swimming/skating lessons. Maybe it gets boring if you've been through it a million times, but seriously, pay attention to what your kids are doing and stop texting. If Gary came to my football game and spent the whole time texting I would be sooooooo mad.

Okay, I did not mean to turn this into a long speech but it's just something that drives me crazy:) I know I may sound cheap or obsessed with money but it allows us to never stress about it. I am so thankful for all we have and recognize that there are many reasons why people are in tough financial situations that are out of their control (loss of a job, illnesses/health care, fertility and adoption etc). We live in a crazy expensive area of the world which means we need to be even smarter with our finances. The end. For now.

Have a great week!
Love, Louise


  1. You make some very good points especially about texting... and I am definitely guilty of it!

  2. Oh wow! I love your new header. I also love seeing your pregnant belly. I think you look absolutely amazing and I am getting excited to see your little girl!

    I just had a thought last night about allowance and wondering when I would start with our kids. I like the idea of giving kids a good understanding of how to be wise with money. It will be my ultimate goal to put each child in charge of their own clothing, savings, recreation money when they are teenagers so that they can begin to learn about prioritizing and making good choices.

  3. Really enjoyed your 'rant' :) I'm much the same as you in those regards. We do have texting (Alf just got a plan), but he rarely texts and when I do, I try to be very conscious to spend very little time away from whatever I'm doing at the time. i think it's more important to be plugged in to the people we are physically around, than be plugged into our phones/technology all the time!

  4. I completely agree with so much of what you said. Our families/upbringings seem very similar :)
    I was always raised the same way, save for something and even then, think seriously about purchases! And there is so much that we CAN buy but really just don't need. That way of upbringing has definitely served me well so I commend you on teaching your kids early!

  5. Anonymous3:15 PM

    that little 2 year old is adorable.

  6. Jan, are you anonymous?:)