Financial Peace at 8

Finances and the study of it, reading about it and trying to organize my funds are all things I enjoy on a small-scale. I have a saying I have used for a long time which is: “I spend my money on paper before it spends me!” The word budget is almost like a four-letter word when I mention the “b” word to most people. I do not quite understand that at all. We do a budget every month and simply write down what we think we will spend each month and what we have to work with. I am not an anal budgetary person, but just like to record and organize it in such a way that it is pre-planned and not spent first. I cannot fathom not doing this whether I made $20K or $200K. I was not reared in my home talking about money. The only talk on money was the lack thereof. I knew nothing about a savings account or a budget. I wish I had known more then…

Well, several years ago early into our marriage we began trying to adopt some of the financial principles found in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. I am so glad we did and we live by those principles today and they have been extremely helpful.

At the beginning of the year, we introduced the Financial Peace Jr. concept to Lauren and so far, it has gone well. The FP JR. concept utilizes a commission based approach versus an allowance. She has a weekly chore list with commission amounts she can earn for completing the tasks. It hopefully will connect the dots for her that work=pay (commission) vs. an allowance and she gets a set amount weekly no matter what she does.  We are about 8 weeks in and so far she earns an average of $3/week. She has bought her some books and a souvenir on her spring break vacation with her own money! She gets her weekly chart each Sunday and turns it in on Fridays to get paid each week. The first few weeks were constant reminders from us, but she now has her sheet on my desk every Friday to get her money.

Once she gets paid, we have a spreadsheet that shows her how her money is split into 3 categories-1. Save (5%), 2. Give (15%), and 3. Spend (80%)-she can use this amount to spend on whatever she wants. This will hopefully cement in her mind that she is to give to herself and to God a portion of all she earns. I think these are valuable lessons for all ages, but especially valuable at age 8. I wish I knew this at 8!

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