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How my Kid got Financial Accountability

Updated on January 10, 2013
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What is Financial Accountability?

It is related to money and how an individual maintains his financial account to help keep a strong and effective balance sheet.

My 9 year old had been asking for an allowance for quite a few months. I was avoiding this issue, but eventually when the gaga was getting out of hand, I sat down with him and in a play full way made him understand what would actually happen when he would start to get his allowance.

“You do realize that once you get pocket money, you will be accountable for how and where you spend it. However, money will be spent only when we go out as a family, and whatever you like, will be purchased by your allowance.”

My son, Puneet gave an enthusiastic nod, but was also hesitant on what is to come. I think the idea of having bills in his hand, made him excited as ever, and he was convinced that things would be under control once the process starts. After assuring me that he will abide by the rules. I promise him that he will get his first allocation on his coming birthday.

The day arrives, and I presented him his $5 bucks in a wallet. Making sure I keep the peace in the house, I made him sign a pact, which had the terms and conditions of usage. He was bursting with confidence and was thrilled to do the above. I put up the signed paper on the refrigerator and let him steam up over his achievement.

I feared the dreadful part of going to the store with a 10 year old and his wallet and I was anticipating a lot of arguments. But, I was wrong.

As we entered Target, he saw dollar deals and stopped there to find anything of his interest. I waited up patiently with my cart. He comes back with a writing pad, a stamp worth 99cents each, and we continued towards my aisles of interest since; had to finish my errands. He would stop occasionally giving me a shout out, and I would screech my cart to a halt. I would wait calmly and continue to walk, as he would start walking along with me. Finally I finished off my errands, and we were heading towards the check out lane. There were a bunch of candies piled along the check out register. He grabbed a Milky Way. I eyed him, and he was quick to do his maths and replied back, “I will still have 2 bucks left with me.”

I shrugged; wanted to shout out to him, “This is just the first week of the month, and you have another 20 days to go.” But, I thought of letting him indulge and blow it out cause this is how he will learn.

After making sure his wallet is safely tucked away; I could see the satisfaction he had in eating that candy. He nibbled at it with care and made sure he took extra care in eating it all. I was amused by his attitude.

In our next store visit, he blew up his remaining $2 and the other weeks of the month, when we would go out; he had no choice but be a spectator.

I guess he realized how tedious it was to accompany a parent for chores, and was waiting up anxiously for the coming month’s allowance.

Comes the brand new month and by his expressions I knew that was just the beginning. It took him several months to bite the temptation of spending all his allocation in one shot. But, his awareness and frustration gave me a feeling that things will take a turn.

Observation

Gradually, I started noticing he would look at bargain prices for his treats or his toys of interest. He knew which store carried his goodies at a reasonable rate as compared to which outlet had high prices. Hoping that I would opt for stores with cheaper rates, he would update me on his research and then would give me a speech on how much I could save if I opted for stores with a low price.

I used to be pleasantly occupied by his study and thought that fiscal responsibility has matured him in a positive way.

These days, he is eyeing a particular Lego toy and is saving up that desired amount. He has also shortlisted which store would give him a good price and keeps eyeing their leaflet for advertisements. My 10 year old is getting money smart and learning to live within his means by making the right decision in an open and transparent way. His desires have been curbed, and he seems to be more content than ever. His piggy bank is getting heavier month by month (with pennies), and lately he became aware of such thing as a bank account, where money grows. Now, I have to update him about interest rates.

Conclusion

There are no guidelines for financial procedure. Monetary accountability can mature at any age group if they are given the opportunity and also some boundaries are set. This results in confidence and the security of an individual.

Comments

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    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 4 years ago

      Interesting hub. It helps the children to understand the value of money at an early age when they are made accountable for their pocket money.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Your son is very smart and knows how to make his allowance last by looking for bargains. Hats off to you and your son. Great work.

    • mbaecker profile image

      mbaecker 4 years ago

      Nice article, I am just starting the process of financial education with my children. It's a lifelong process that deserves much attention, but does payoff in the end. It seems as if your child is already learning! Great Job!

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      This is an excellent hub Ruchira, you have focused on a very good issue. The hub was well written and it was well organised. Voted UP

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      As with most things in life, children learn best from their mistakes. The key is how you have reacted here, keeping to the rules and not pampering them with treats ... forcing them to learn how to manage money. It is such an important lesson and one my dad taught me well, for which I am grateful.

      Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      It is always such a great event in a family life when a child learns to budget and save early. Sounds like you have a pretty smart kid and that the value of money will be top of mind as he grows. We taught our child to save early on and gave him a piggy bank to save his pennies for spending. It helped to understand the importance of working for something you want. Voted up!

    • onegreenparachute profile image

      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      What a great way to teach the value of money - and with such patience! I'm sure your son will continue to spend with care. Great Hub!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Love this Ruchira and what a wonderful mom you are, so attentive in teaching your son about the value of money. My children are all grown but I love watching them still to this day being smart about saving, looking for deals and working hard for their money. They learned at an early age by us instilling work ethics and them having to save to buy things they wanted. I am sure your son will learn more and more as he grows older, it is never too early to start. Thank you for sharing.

      Sunnie

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      That's a great way to introduce money into your childs mind, I just wish I had done something similar with my son, everybody should do this, voted up etc!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      Children really feed off their parental units.. so you gave your kid finanicial accountability.. bravo :)

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Sounds like a good beginning. It is not easy to teach about money and using it responsibly.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. 3rd grade, when we started, but my kids had to help their mom (chores). Their allowance would increase, based on their school grades.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Well done Ruchira. You did a wonderful job at inculcating financial accountability in your son. All of us need to do this as soon as a child is mentally ready.

      Voted up and useful.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Ruchira, You are a clever mother. You found a great way to teach your son the value of a dollar. I wish i had thought of doing this with my son. He still think's money grows on trees. LOL

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great job Ruchira...oops, Janine said the same thing. LOL Well, it was; nice job teaching your son. Now if about one hundred million other parents would do the same thing we might see an improved economy!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Great job Ruchira and am going to have to keep this in mind as my girls get older. Thanks for sharing your experience on how you got your son to be a bit more financially accountable and have of course voted up and shared all over!!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Lovely article, beautifully describing all the steps required to learn this skill. Loved it and voted up, interesting and useful.