Dear Dave: Should We Encourage Our Frugal Child To Spend A Little?

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Posted: Jul 18, 2019 8:53 AM
Dear Dave: Should We Encourage Our Frugal Child To Spend A Little?

Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Dear Dave,

We’ve followed your advice and put our kids on commissions instead of allowances. The problem is our 8-year-old. He never buys anything, and he seems to be very frugal by nature. Do you have any advice for teaching him it is okay to spend money sometimes?

Stephen

Dear Stephen,

You’re absolutely right for wanting to teach him wise spending habits. Each of us has the personality of being either a saver or a spender. As parents, we should help our kids grow in areas where they have weaknesses, and find ways to enhance their strengths.

Give him praise for being such a good saver, but gently encourage him to spend a little, too. Spending is one of the rewards of work and disciplined saving. You might urge him to pick out something he really wants, and help him make a plan to save enough money to buy that item. Once he has enough money for the purchase, turn it into a celebration of reaching that goal.

There are three things you can do with money—spend it, save it, and give it to others. Focusing too much, or too little, on any of these is not financially or spiritually healthy.

—Dave