My husband and I try to plan ahead what big items we want to purchase for our family; like right now we are looking at a bike trailer and bike so we can go riding as a family. So, right now we are looking around for ones that we like and try to get an idea of how much we want to spend. We like doing this because it helps to keep us from buying impulsively and also makes us appreciate the item more... which helps us to take better care of it.
This is something that we want to carry on with our children as well. We want to make some family items a family decision. A good idea is to first,
Pick some items that you have been looking at purchasing or from a wish list that you already have; things that the family can enjoy all together. Examples - fire pit, trampoline, slip n' slides, tree fort, even a day at an amusement park/family outing)
From the list you have, privately pick just a few, maybe three, that the kids can help vote on. Also try to get an idea of how you want the kids to pitch in to pay for it, like parents pay for half and the kids covering the other half, something like that. Making some of these decisions privately can help avoid some children squabbling later. You guys make most of the decisions and let the kids choose from what you guys think is best.
The item is now picked, so discuss and figure out what the best way the family can save up for the item. Examples - maybe having to pay for a percentage, extra chores can help pay their share, having a garage sale, volunteer work... anything could help count.
Now, just enjoy watching your kids work to help pay for this item. This is a great way to help teach our children about pitching in, helping the family, importance of hard work, how things don't come free, plus the kids will take better care of the item because they know how much work it took to get it.
Plus, you can have some fun saving up for the item. You can make a progress chart to help show how far everyone has left or plan a family chore day where everyone is cleaning and doing yard work together specifically to help with the family item. And when everyone has their money it will be great to all go to the store, purchase it together and then running home to set it up/play with it. It will be a great family moment to remember and a great lesson for the kids, heck... a great lesson for the whole family.
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