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The Sandy Spring Way

How I Taught My Kids to Spend Correctly

May 9th, 2013 | By Sandy Spring Bank

How I Taught My Kids to Spend Correctly
by Melissa Dionis, Contest Winner

Story Contest Week 1 Blog PicSeveral years ago, I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Since then, my financial habits have dramatically improved. I am close to being debt free, but not quite there just yet. But I immediately started to teach my kids how to spend correctly.

I started out by teaching my kids to use envelopes for the money that they earned doing chores. They have envelopes for saving, giving, and spending.  Now that they are older, it is a little different.  My daughter is a junior in high school and works after school. Before she started her job, I asked her to set a goal. I asked her what she wanted to purchase. She decided that she wants to buy a used car after graduation. So, she decided that she would save 80% of every paycheck no matter how large or small.  She has only been working part time since October 2012 and she has saved almost $700. What money she keeps to spend, she decides what she wants, and she looks for the best price. She wants to make every penny stretch.  If she learns this principle now, she will carry it forward into adulthood with much bigger purchases.

I also talk to my kids about saving and using cash.  We have talked about healthy credit, and I have told them that they should never use a charge card unless they know they have the money in the bank to pay it off. That way they can build their credit but remain debt free.

My son is only fourteen, so when he receives money it goes into the bank. Although he mostly receives gift cards to use for purchases, he also tries to spend wisely because he knows he has money beyond the amount on the gift card.

Spending wisely, living within your means, and regular saving and giving will lead to a much healthier, financially stable life.


Last month we celebrated National Financial Literacy Month by offering our readers a chance to share their stories with us. Each week, one winner was selected to receive a $100 VISA® Gift Card and have their story published on our blog. This is the first of those stories. Thanks again to Melissa for sharing her story with us!

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