Money Personalities of Children

This afternoon I received a nice example of the money personalities of our two children and they are beginning to become quite different from each other. With both of them having birthdays in the later part of the year and just passing the holiday season, they have accumulated a fair amount of money.

Today we were out at the store and they had their wallets with them. Our oldest son has become a complete Lego maniac and has Legos spilling out everywhere, which is why we did not get him any for Christmas this year. Needless to say, there are a few sets that he has been itching to buy and were in stock at the store. Without a second thought, he grabbed that off the shelf and said he would be buying it today.

We did not have a problem with this, as it is his spending money to do with as he pleases. We did ask him if he was really sure that he wanted to buy it and he said yes. Once he decides he wants something, he will pursue purchasing it even if he knows it will deplete his spending money down to pennies.

In complete contrast, our youngest son has a tight fist on his money. He has accumulated a little bit over $100, which is enough to buy the moon in his opinion. With seeing his brother getting a new toy, he also wanted to spend some of his money. He looked for something to buy and there were a few things he wanted. With each one, he would ask us how much money he would have left if he bought that item.

In each case, the item would have brought him under $100 remaining and that seemed to be a magic number to him. When he would hear that, he would put the item back and say he didn’t really want it that bad. As we were about to leave the toy area, he spotted a little toy gun on a clearance shelf. When he heard he would still have over $100, his eyes beamed and he decided he would purchase that toy.

So what does all of this mean? Not much really but it is a little insight into how their personalities are taking shape with regard to money. FWIW, our older son is much more like my wife in that once they have their mind set on buying something, there is not much that will stop them. Like our youngest son, I am more the type that would like to purchase certain items (that are within my means) but pass because I don’t want it to reduce my available funds by too much.

Since a good deal of their early money habits are learned from watching how we handle money, it is critical to always be aware of that and act in a financially responsible manner. What is the money personality of your children? Has your money personality changed from when you were a child?

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