Monday, January 7, 2013

No Shopping Challenge Day 7 - Hello Savings!


Today is the end of the first week of the challenge for me, so it's a good time to look at my bank account and work out how much I'm saving.

We're definitely up a few hundred dollars - which is both exciting and a bit frightening. Was I really spending that much? I realise now just how much I was spending on multiple small trips to the supermarket and at the food co-op mid week. It's so easy (in my mind) to justify buying more ingredients when they're really healthy for you. Junk food I can easily say no to. We are being more conservative with using petrol too at the moment, and of course there have been no trips to the mall or to cafes for lunch.

Today I had to hand over my debit card for the first time in a week. I bought some bananas, washing up liquid, popcorn kernels, and milk - total $13. Then I bought some vitamins for $10. I see them as household expenses even if I have already spent my grocery budget for the week. Next week I'd like to get through without having to do a little top up shop though so now I know what I need to buy more of.

It felt a little odd spending money today I have to admit. I felt a bit annoyed with myself, like I was cheating or letting myself down. It's silly really because it's not like I bought shoes or takeaways for dinner. I just would have liked to get through to next pay day without spending anything at all.

One unexpected result of the past week has been that I've been consciously thinking about how we deal with money as a family. At the moment neither child has pocket money, but they both have savings accounts. In the past when they've wanted something big like a new toy they've either worked for it by doing odd jobs for us, or they've sold something they no longer wanted on eBay. I would like them to have a better understanding of spending and saving when it comes to the every day things so I think once this is over we'll have a Family Kitty set up with some cash in it. The kids can ask if they can have something (usually for them it's an ice cream after dinner or a DVD from the shop) and we can count the money in the Kitty and see if it's a good idea to use it or not. J and I will use it too of course.

Do your kids get pocket money?
How do you handle your family's miscellaneous spending?



3 comments:

  1. We have just started pocked money with DS, I was sick of him asking me for things(toys!) so I figure he does enough jobs to get $2 a week and he can learn about saving for things he wants, so far he has added it to his money box to be saved for something bigger!

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  2. DD gets pocket money as she does some jobs. $2 per week, plus extras if there are extra jobs to be done. She has 2 money boxes. $1 goes into 1 which goes to her bank account, the other $1 goes into the other tin,and that gets used if she wants a toy etc. As that tin has a flip top lid she can easily count her savings and work out how much more she needs.

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  3. Last year my boys really wanted a Nintendo DS each so we started a pocket money scheme. We have a chart on the wall that I laminated and it has room for them to do up to 5 jobs a day (some set jobs like feed the animals and make beds, and others that I can give them on the spot). Each time they do a job, I put a star with a white board marker on their chart. At the end of the week, I count up the stars and pay them - for us it is 20c a job. Ultimately, it is up to them to earn their money. Some jobs we pushed them to do, but others (like sorting out the washing or unstacking the dishwasher) were optional. Most of the time they jumped at the chance to do a job! They saved really well last year and spent their money on second hand DSs and then on books and toys they wanted. At the moment we're having a break from the charts though as they had Christmas and birthday money, but I'll bring them back in after school hols.

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