There may be no better teacher than a good, old-fashioned mistake. For a time, my five-year-old daughter had been sinking all of her money into her Save jar after success with goal setting and managing her allowance effectively enough to buy a scooter, shoes and mini pottery wheel (long-term saving for a youngin’). Daddy was happy. The lessons were working, and it made good blog fodder. But then, suddenly, she started plunking her allowance dollars into her Spend Smart jar. What was this? Regression? A big mistake?
Whatever it was, it was her choice, and it remains to be seen whether she is making mistakes by shifting her focus from saving to spending. What it certainly means is that Daddy has to heed his own advice to her: Allow her to control her own money. The purpose of the allowance is to teach her about money, and making mistakes is part of that process. We’ll see what she does. And after all, it’s ok if she does slip up because, you know, mistakes is good.