I have to confess… my daughter is not so sure about all these changes. I only have one child so I guess there is where I admit that I MAY have been prone to spoiling. I don’t MEAN too!! It just kinda happens.

Ava is fine with us having not having Dish. She would rather watch Netflix anyway. She didn’t gripe for too many days when I cancelled the data plan on her iPad.

But hearing the word NO has been the final straw!

“You used to never say no!”- she grumbled in Wal-Mart. This process has been challenging yet rewarding for all of us. I’m a pretty open type of Mom. She knows what’s going on in our world and we ask her often for our input. We have had candid conversations about changes in our family- adoption, selling our home, changing jobs, etc. It is my personal belief that children should be included in many aspects of factors in a family unit. Age appropriate of course, but we view his as an important part of our parenting.

We sat Ava down a while back and explained that we were going to make some financial changes. I tried to help her understand that if we make changes now we can do more later. (No cable now means another vacation in a few years). I wanted her to understand that we weren’t “poor” nor are we “rich” but I tried to paint a bigger picture for her about being smart with money.

She’s been a trooper! And there has been some perks for her. She’s 12 so she has responsibilities to take care. And when she does them, she gets an allowance. She likes this! So now if I say NO to something she has the option to use her money. While adding an allowance to our outgoing money kinda seems crazy while trying to tighten our belts, it actually makes sense {for us} to do this. I can teach my child the concept of a dollar while also explaining the process we are going through.

We also haven’t wanted to take fun away! We are notorious Go-ers. Go see a movie. Go to the park. Go to Books a Million “just to look”. Go eat dinner. Go rent a movie. We have had to put a stop to a lot of our “going”. But what we have done is tried to add more “treats”. Instead of going it to eat ($45 bucks) we eat at home and then go for an ice cream/Starbucks/hot cocoa run ($10 bucks). Those treats are important for all of us! It keeps us sane and keeps us motivated.

I’ve noticed some changes in Ava. Dare I say she almost seems more at peace? We have enjoyed the mess out of watching Netflix and making our own popcorn. And we HAVE used our “Fun” envelope to go see a movie at the theaters. But it comes down to choices. “Would you rather spend our fun money by going to Dave & Busters are go get ice cream 6 different times this month?” That doesn’t sound half bad, does it! I’ve seen her find contentment rediscovering books and Hulu tv shows. She’s spent more time reading and has appeared to genuinely enjoy sitting on the couch with me watching a show together. And THAT is worth more than all the money in the world.

Include your kiddos in the process. Explain simplicity, choices, debt, freedom from financial burdens… explain that we love Dave Ramsey’s quote of “live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else.” Ava is already planning our debt free vacation we plan to take when we owe no one NOTHIN’!!!!

How do you talk to your kids about finances? How do you explain debt or lack thereof to your children? I’d love to hear!!

Thanks for reading.

For Now,

Cara Roxanne