Growing up I was the spoilt youngest child. Always got what I wanted, when I wanted it. While I was but a naïve child, asking and receiving, and loving my parents for it at the time, unfortunately I now realize they unintentionally did me no favours.
I say this now because I am your typical Samoan chick who just loves to spend spend spend. Spend i mea le tatau and spend it on things that in the end I have nothing to show for all my hard earned cash, except for a big booty due to spend spend spend on food lol.
Now I thought that I was ungrateful for all my parents hard work, but ehhhh when you look at the kids of today’s society… oka… our generation I would have to say were mild compared to the unappreciative generation of today. It’s not their fault but the fault of us parents.
We sit and wonder why do our kids need a playstation, or the new gears, or the meanest meals, why? Because you might want to admit it or not, but when they were born, it was us who had to have them in the Nike gears before they even did their first burb. Yes, I am one of you! I had my son in Nike and Adidas gears even before he wet his first nappy. Why? Because we all had to have the coolest looking kid. It was like if they weren’t dressed for success from day one, then they just wouldn’t look cute or cool enough. Well that sickness has continued on to now and due to the fact that the cost of food, petrol and housing is rising, I am only now starting to feel the pinch of it.
So I sat down and really thought about how it is my duty as my kids mother to teach them responsibility and appreciation from this age because if I do not, then it will be my fault that they will put themselves into debt and not be able to save for those rainy days.
So I came up with a brilliant plan and eehhhhh because I feel it is a benefit to not only them but to our whole family, it is a plan that is worth sharing. So since I am such a sharing kind of person lol I thought who better to share with but you!
I decided that the best way for my kids to appreciate how expensive life is these days and also that a little hard work won’t kill them, but it will make them better people not only for themselves, but also for today’s society. You see, I don’t believe that parents should pay their kids to do chores, because chores are a part of their learning and growing experiences that are a NEED and not a WANT. If your kids don’t learn how to sweep the floor, wash the dishes and cook then oka…. Then unless they find a Chef who moonlights as a Kitchen hand…. They are in trouble…. Lol… But yes like I said I don’t believe in paying for chores…. So this left me in a bit of a dilemma…… until one day it hit me……
You see I had planned to start a vegetable garden out the back just so that I can have something extra to do on the weekends and also have cheap veggies at my disposal. But then I was sitting down to write a list of what kind of veggies I wanted to grow and my son came to me and said “Mum, I want a motorbike”. Mind you I had just finished paying the bills and paying for his school fees and his school camp and new school shoes. I was like WTHEOOOOO….. lol… Instead of yelling and listing all these things that I had just finished I asked him to please go away because I was a little stressed and I needed 5 minutes to myself…. So he left me alone….
That’s when the brilliant plan hit me…. Instead of me planting the veggie garden, why not get the ungrateful kids to work on the garden, make it their own, then when the veggies are ready, sell them back to me (at a decent price of course lol). That way, they have outside work to do and they get exercise, and I get veggies at an affordable price lol. So I sat them down and talked to them and totally sold the idea…. I told them that not only would they benefit financially it would be their project and they would be the bosses. They jumped at the idea of making money. Free money according to my daughter. Lol….
So yes…. It would work like this….. I would purchase all the seedlings they needed, the shovels, compost and ehhh they even want a scale to weigh what they are selling me…. Lol… and then they will dig and plant their garden…. I told them to be prepared to not make any money for their first crops… and they were like that’s a bit sucky… but then I explained to them that, that’s how the business world is… you have to spend money to make money….. so they were like… but ehhh we are not spending money…. And I told them…. Yes I know that but I am…. I am purchasing everything they need to start their little business up and when they have crop to sell, then they will have to pay me back the money I invested in their business…. Lol… see le valea fo’i nei matua…. Lol… they were like… awwwwww….. but then I explained…. Once they had payed my money back… then what ever they made after that…. Would be ALL theirs…. Then they were like… oh… really…. Then their tunes changed….. lol…..
So you see…. I figure this is what they will gain…..
* They will learn how to budget
* They get exercise
* They will learn team work
* They will learn an appreciation for money that will help them learn to not spend spend spend lol
As for me my benefits will be…..
* Although I will still be providing the necessary essentials like clothing, food and housing for them, they will be earning money to buy the junk that they want which means no more wasted money on unnecessary toys for me (and I highly doubt they will want to waste their money on toys after all the work they had to do to earn it)
* They will no longer waste electricity watching t.v in the afternoons lol
* My bonding time with my kids will increase
* I will be paying affordable prices for veggies, and the fact that the money will be coming straight back into my account shux… how can I go wrong…. Lol….
So you see…. Everyone wins…..
It’s never too early to teach kids how to earn money and budget wisely for those rainy days. Let us break this “loaning’ cycle that our parents experienced and that we are participating in now, but teach the kids that with a little hard work and a lot of saving we can gain the things we need, and occasionally want, without going into debt. I say bring back the days where it was cool to layby otherwise the recession will not be the reason for the future generation’s struggles and downfalls but their lack of understanding will kill their chances before they even get started. Children can’t blame their parents for their choices when they are older, because eventually they will have to take responsibility for their own actions. However, they can blame you for not teaching them the essential tools for a better and successful life. Give them the love that they need in order to survive for a life time, and not the kind of love that they want for the now.