We were at Cracker Barrel last week to celebrate Kathrynne’s 10th birthday. (I still cannot believe I have a daughter who is 10 years old. How did that happen?? I still feel like I’m 17!)
After we ate dinner as a family, we went out to the store to window shop for a bit. (My kids think Cracker Barrel is just about on the same level as the LEGO store! They love that place and I don’t blame them; they have such fun kid’s toys and games!)
I noticed Silas was on a mission in the toy section. He kept picking one toy up, looking at the price, and then putting it back. As he did this over and over again, I started following him around to try to determine what he was doing!
It was then that he picked a toy up and triumphantly exclaimed, “Yes!! This is in my budget!”
I about burst out laughing right there in the store. First, because I hadn’t heard him use the word “budget” before. And secondly, because it sounded so grown up and funny to be coming from the mouth of a 5-year-old.
But I held my laughter in and instead asked him more about this budget of his. He explained to me that he has $30 at home in his piggy bank — money he’s collected from doing chores, birthday gifts, etc. — and he decided that he had a $10 budget to spend on something from Cracker Barrel. He didn’t want to spend all of his money, so he’d set the $10 budget to make sure he didn’t spend all his money.
He said he hadn’t brought his money this time, so he was just looking to see what he could buy in his budget. Next time, he’d bring his money and buy the $10 or less toy.
As he recounted all of this to me, you can imagine how much I was grinning from ear to ear. I love that he’s learning money management skills from a young age.
But more than that, I was reminded of how much our kids are watching and learning. We’ve talked about basic money management with Silas (spending and saving, etc.), but we’ve never actually gone over what a budget is or why you should have one. So Silas has picked up the idea of budgeting from watching us and hearing things we’ve told to Kathrynne and Kaitlynn.
It also reminded me of how important it is that I set a good example before my kids. Because it’s not just the words I’m saying that they are paying attention to; the life I’m living before them is what they are paying the most attention to.