One of my goals for 2013 is to teach my daughter about money and the difference between needs versus wants. Specifically, I want my preschooler to understand that when I say “There’s no more money for ice cream,” I’m not actually saying: “There’s no more money!” That’s a really difficult concept for a 4-year-old to understand.
One tool that has been helping is an envelope wallet I purchased last January on Etsy from a company called Thrifty Zippers. It’s made out of oil-cloth and a little bit bulky, but I think this wallet is great.
The way the wallet works is that it has six separate zippered envelopes, as well as slots for my driver license and credit cards. I have envelopes for groceries, household products, gas, and other essentials. But the most important envelope (to my daughter) is the one for ice cream.
Every Friday, I put $5 in the ice cream budget. Now, when my daughter asks to go out for ice cream, we look in the envelope to see if there is “enough” money. But when the ice cream envelope is empty, my preschooler can still see that we have lots of money for other things like food and toilet paper.
A side benefit of this wallet is that I’ve ended up spending less money. I’ve also stopped eating so much ice cream! So really, this purchase has been a win-win.