Take a look at Lorelei's face here, and there's no mistaking it... the pride she feels.
Lorelei, you see, has been learning the benefit of being frugal, having a plan for her money, and saving up enough allowance (she can earn up to $5 a week) to buy the things she really wants, and what she's been pining after for months is this: a giant-sized Rapunzel.
I wish I had learned more about money growing up, and while I feel somewhat unqualified in teaching lessons on finances, I refuse to raise children who don't understand how to manage and steward money. I learn so much from (and with) my kids.
On Saturdays, the banker comes out, and Lorelei counts her week's worth of tokens very carefully, depositing them into her savings, seeing where she's at on her financial goals. She found some extra birthday money in a jar, and added this to her bank too. With the excess, she's:
1) saving up to clothe the Build-A-Bear Mommy and Daddy have promised her for practicing 1500 songs on her violin this summer... she's almost there, and
2) has already put $60 into her 401-Car Plan, which Mommy and Daddy will match in contributions. I know she's got ten years to go, but we'd like to think of it as an early lesson in retirement savings.
3) We're also trying to teach her to save a tithe for church. She didn't like the idea. At all. And we didn't force her or try to coerce her too much. But this will be one of our family night lessons soon, something we're working on along with her (We need to take another look at our finances, see where we're at this year, and make adjustments accordingly--time to break out and dust off those Dave Ramsey CDs! Trying to raise kids intentionally has forced us to raise the bar for ourselves--it's hard work, but it's a really good thing for all of us).
Lorelei, I'm so proud of you for making a plan for your money and sticking with it. You got a really (REALLY) big reward, and YOU made it happen!