When we got married, my husband Shriram was in a MNC as a trainee with a little stipend. We used to contribute to our household expenses in a joint family of 7 people. We had decided early enough that we will have only one kid. When our Son Kushal was born, I didn’t stop working and continued with my job, as there were people at home to care of Kushal.
We were very clear on the thought that we should be able to fulfill most of the wishes of our child and hence we never gave a second thought on not having one more child in our life.
So it was clear that we will have only one child and will do every possible thing for him.
At the same time, we were quite sure on not letting him explore the world without making him aware about money, how to manage it and spend it.
So basically we did following and today Kushal is the most behaved guy in our house as far as money matters and management is concerned. He really uses the money very wisely in any situation, whether it’s available to him in plenty or less.
- We never cared about his ‘wants’ –
I remember when Kushal was small we used to buy him 1 -2 gi joes every week. He had a huge and wonderful collection of them by the time he was about 7-8 years old. But we always use to divert his attention if he wanted more than 1-2 of them at a time. So gradually he understood and stopped expecting and asking for more, whenever we used to shop. Many a times we have shopped for him for his good behaviour and have made him realise that “nothing comes for free”!
- Taught him that it requires efforts to earn money –
Money won’t come out of thin air. It is a byproduct of the service which you will be doing to someone. So let’s understand ways to ‘earn’ money and find opportunities to do so. Kushal understood this at a very early age that it requires your efforts for “money to come to you”.
- Spoke with him regarding wise use of money –
Kushal never maintained a piggy bank or sort to save the money which he got at the time of his birthday, Diwali or any other occasions. He used to give it straight to me and has never asked it back from me for his own spending.
We have fulfilled his ‘reasonable’ demands towards his hobbies e.g. buying things like guitar, play station etc. and told him that the part of money spent in buying these things was used from his ‘gift fund’. Once he was insisting that he will go for a pop show to Bangalore with few of his friends. By looking at his interest in pop music we allowed him to go for it.
So he also started understanding gradually that ‘reasonable and acceptable’ demands will be thought over by us. Also things like play station or a gym membership which lasts for quite a long time always gave him a feeling of ‘best utilisation’ of money over eatables and petty things which can be easily forgotten.
- Teaching him concept of “less is more” –
With respect to things like clothes, shoes and expensive Sun glasses, Kushal has developed a very good habit of using them sparingly and for a longer duration too. This habit got cultivated in him by looking at his father, who uses and maintains his own things very nicely for years and years. Shriram’s principle – be fit, so that you can wear a simple t shirt and a jeans which is 10 years old and still look smart.
Activities like watching and sharing some funny videos, playing with our pet, taking care of stray animals, cooking with me, helps him keep busy and that don’t require any money. The bonus is he has become a bit spiritual, creative and caring.
We never instructed him in money matters, he learnt and is still learning these skills by looking at us. So basically we are always improving on our money management part.
He will follow.
Our regular saving habits help him understand importance of saving. Also skills and ideas of earning, less spending and more ‘giving’!
These skills are priceless for our kids and we should make them aware of these skills sooner than later before they start exploring the world.29