At almost 3 and half years old, Baby T1.0 is slowly grasping the concept of money. As someone who has spent a lot of time talking and writing about money, it is fascinating to see this development.
The other day Baby T1.0 and I were out shopping at a local grocery store. While walking around in the store he asked me if he could get some treats. I stopped the shopping cart and asked him if he had any money to buy these treats.
“No but daddy you can pay with the plastic card.”
Smart kid, so I tried to give him a lesson about credit card.
“Baby T1.0, the plastic card is not a magic card. Daddy and mommy load money on it and only use the card if we have money on it. Do you have money to put on the card?”
“Ok then we can’t buy those treats.”
I felt it was important for him to understand that credit cards are not some sort of magical card that daddy and mommy pull out to pay anything and everything. I wanted to instill the idea of responsible credit card use, because credit card will be a big part of his life.
The other day Baby T1.0 was playing Lego. Although it was sunny outside and the room was bright, he decided to turn on the lights.
“Baby T1.0, please turn the lights off.”
“But I WANT to keep the lights ON!”
“Baby T1.0, could you come over so daddy can tell you something?”
Being a curious kid, he came over and listened.
“Do you see that it’s bright outside?”
“Can you see in here without the lights on?”
“Baby T1.0, we turn the lights off when we can see inside. We only turn on the lights when we can’t see, you know why?”
“Hvorfor?” (Why in Danish)
“Because if you have the lights on when it’s bright inside, you are wasting electricity. Electricity costs money. So when it’s bright inside and we have lights off, we are saving money.”
“And you know why we want to save money?”
“Do you like it when daddy plays with you all day?”
“Yes!!!” (Getting all excited)
“By saving enough money then one day daddy doesn’t need to go to work anymore. Then I can then play with you all day. Do you like that?”
“Daddy I love playing with you all day. Can we play Lego?”
“Yes, so Baby T1.0, what do we need to do?”
“Turn off lights when it’s bright outside.”
“Yes, and also turn off the lights when you’re not in the room. This is also why we don’t keep the water running when you wash your hands. We are saving money that way too.”
Later that night I asked him to tell Mrs. T what I taught him. He was very excited and explained that we are saving money so I could play with him all day one day.
I guess the lesson stuck. 🙂
At this age he’s very impressionable. Perhaps I’m stretching the truth a bit but I think it’s important to teach him the idea of being frugal. It certainly doesn’t hurt to teach him the idea that one day when we’re financially independent, I will have more time to play with him.
Dear readers, do you think I should be teaching Baby T1.0 these money related lessons at 3.5 years old? Am I stretching the truth too much?
On an unrelated note, I came across this great video yesterday on why your life is not a journey. It’s definitely worth your time watching it and discuss the idea with your loved ones. This is why I think it’s so important to find the right balance between enjoying your life now and saving for the future. And why we all need to develop the Be-To-Have mindset.