$100

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Money is tight. Money is real tight. But it’s also back to school time. I have a son starting high school and a daughter starting middle school. Important firsts for both of them. It’s my job as their mom to adorn them in armor that gives them confidence. Armor these days looks a whole lot like fluorescent Nikes.

My daughter plans on entering middle school in style. HER STYLE. My daughter has a “look” all developed in her mind of how she is going to arrive at school that first day. She’s frantically savings pictures to her phone to show me exactly what she wants to look like. There is also the matter of the growth spurt that recently gave her legs about 10 feet long and a chest that no longer belongs in youth medium
T-shirts.

Did I mention that money is tight?

It’s also my job as a mother to teach them the value of a dollar and that what you want isn’t always what you need. I need to teach them priorities and evaluating this versus that. Part of my job is also to teach them the art of compromising without sacrificing. It’s a lofty job.

Enter the $100 bill.

It ain’t much and it ain’t enough but it’s all we’ve got. As young adults I don’t want to tell them what they get. I want them to decide what they want. I want them to make their own choices. So…they each get a crisp $100 bill.

Oh my gosh-this is so much money!!!! It’s not if you want $100 Nikes.

squeal….I can get everything I want! I’ve seen your list honey- this won’t get you past the first 5 lines.

If I buy a few new clothes can I spend the rest on stuff to decorate my locker? ahhhh…my evil plan is working. This is exactly the conversation I wanted to occur. My answer: absolutely. If you can go to school appropriately dressed and elect
not to spend this extra clothes than you can use it to buy a locker shelf. But…you have to live with your choice. You can’t come back the second week of school upset because you don’t have those skinny jeans that everyone else is wearing.

So I can decide if I want to wear my old shoes and get a new book bag or if I want to buy new shoes and use my old book bag? By george I think he’s got it.

Can we go to the outlets instead of the mall? Why yes, yes we can my little frugalettes.

It’s a rare win-win-this $100 dollar bill-they are ecstatic to have their own money and I get to look like a champion because I handed it to them. They are empowered to make choices that they can be happy with. Empowerment is good. By tomorrow afternoon they will have a much better concept of money and how much things cost. It won’t be an easy lesson but it is a valuable one. As moms we have to seize every available opportunity to teach life lessons. Me and old Benjamin will have our chance tomorrow. An added plus-this will keep me in check as well. I want them to have what they want and sometimes,in the heat of the moment, I get a little carried away. I literally can’t afford to do that this year. Now I don’t have to worry. It is what it is and it is all that there is.

It’s only $100 but I hope the lessons it brings are worth much, much more.

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9 thoughts on “$100

  1. Hey there,

    I did not learn such values so early in life. I’m learning how to climb out and keep out of our generational poverty on my own.

    It’s great that you are teaching them through self empowerment! Starting them off early. Awesome Mom! 🙂

    -Staci

  2. This is a really clever way to teach tweens and teens the value of money. Crossing my fingers but my son, who starts Grade 8 in Sept, is not interested in clothes/shoes. When he does start wanting certain brands, I’m going to use this trick.

    • It works! It’s painful but I highly recommend it. 5 minutes into our shopping trip my son exclaimed,”stuff is so expensive”. It was the first time he’d ever seemed to acknowledge the “cost” of things/

  3. Pingback: Today she likes me! | likemymamasays

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