Have you ever been in a store with your child and they have wanted a toy, treat or something else that they had to have or they would just cry???? Have they told you that you can just use your credit card when you tell them no, they couldn’t have it or that you don’t have the money for it???
It amazes me how many times I have heard from my children…..”Mom, just use your credit card!” while shopping and telling them no, they may not have something. My youngest son seems to think that their is a magical money tree attached to the credit cards. The other day we were talking in the store and he wanted a toy. I told him “No, I don’t have the money for that right now but we will put it on your Christmas wish list.” and all the sudden I heard the “Mom, just use your credit card!” and I turned and looked at him and said “No, I don’t have the money for it I said.” So of course I received this explanation of how credit cards work from my son.
I’m not sure where he came up with this idea and I did get a laugh from it. When I told my son “No, he couldn’t get the toy he wanted, he explained to me how he thought credit cards work. Well, Mom, you just purchase it with that plastic credit card and then it pays for whatever you buy.” I told him “Yes, it does, but there has to be money on it and you have to pay your bill every month for the things you purchase” I told him. He looked at me and said “No, Mommy that’s not how it works” and I said “Oh really?” and asked him to explain how it works to me. I figured we better sit down for this because his explanations are usually really funny. So he continues to tell me how you purchase things with your credit card and you never have to pay for the products you purchase. You just get them FREE! He continues with the credit card never runs out and you can “ALWAYS” use it and buy things. Then finishes up with “Can we go buy my toy now?”.
I do believe that my son did not understand credit cards by any means. lol So, I told him “No, we would not be purchasing the toy today that it would go on the Christmas Wish list.” However, our conversation did get me thinking that it may be time for a little reality check on how money works and how credit cards work. So I paid for my purchases, and we were heading home. I started to talk to my son a little more about credit cards and money. He as all my children always have thought that their was a “Magical money tree” in our backyard and evidently it has now tried to grow in my credit card as well. lol So it is time to teach him a little lesson that his brother’s and sister’s have all learned and had fun with till they figured out that there is no “Magical money tree” in our backyard. Yes, I am that mom, I do everything visually and find ways to get lessons across to my children while sometimes entertaining myself in the process.
We returned home and I sat my youngest son down and asked him where he thought the money we have comes from. So he came up with again “Your credit card” and I was thinking “Don’t I wish!”. So I decided that it was just that time where he needed to go on the “hunt” for our “Magical money tree” in our backyard. So I told him that if he could find our “Magical money tree” in our backyard that he could get the toy that he wanted at the store. He was so excited, so he got his shoes on, and my older son and I went out to the backyard so I could keep an eye on him and do some blogging posts while he was searching. I told my son that the Magical money tree hides, that I have never found it and that it could be invisible. So he was on his way searching, my older son looks at me and says “Yep, I remember my search of the Magical money tree.” and “Mom, wouldn’t it have been easier to just say that it doesn’t exist?” I thought for a moment and said “Well, maybe but it kept you busy looking for an hour and wore you out and it also kept me entertained for an hour so it was well worth it.” lol My son laughed at what I said and continued to watch his little brother and said to me “this is entertaining”. As my son searched the backyard he finally came to me and said “Mom, I can’t find the “Magical Money Tree” after an hour and a half of searching.
I sat him down and explained to him…”Well, that would be because there is no “Magical Money Tree”. I thought you needed to try to find it so you would understand that Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandparents and everyone else in the world work very hard for their money and that it’s not just handed to you on a magical tree to pay your bills and buy things with. The same thing is true for Credit cards, “Yes, I have them” however, Mommy watches what she purchases with them as they need to be paid for just like when Mommy uses cash to pay for things.” I continued on “I Love your theory that you never have to pay for the things you purchase with your credit card, but if everyone did that their would be No, business’s available to buy things from because they would have no money as people wouldn’t pay their bills.” So my son sat there and looked into the backyard and said “Yes, if everyone took everything home and didn’t pay for it I guess the stores wouldn’t have any money.” He was finally starting to understand. So now when “Mom says there is no money for a toy or other item you want you now understand what Mom means right?” He looks at me then thinks for a moment “Yes, you mean it’s going on my Birthday or Christmas Wish list and I’m not going to get it that day.” I started to think to myself “Lesson learned, and we wouldn’t have the “Mom, just use your credit card talk every time we go to the store.”
There are so many people that use their credit cards on impulse purchases that I do not want my children to think their is a “Magical Money tree” at the end of the rainbow. There is no such thing and it can build you into a debt that your not going to want to see each month. I have tamed the “monthly debt” by using only credit cards that are attached to my banking accounts only. So I no longer have the monthly bill that I have to dread at the end of the month and pay. It has helped to keep our budget in tact and not over spend and purchase unneeded items. I do suggest that many of you do the same and you will find that you will stretch your budget and not live beyond your means and love not getting the monthly bill that you have to pay every month and the added fees when the card isn’t paid in full. It’s never to early to teach your child(ren) about money and how to save, make a budget, use credit cards and other lessons that deal with money.
This is a sponsored post by My Job Chart.