We disagreed greatly on how to spend the no-more-than-$600 we had budgeted. I wanted a smaller TV that had the Wifi extras of being a Smart TV. Hubby wanted a non-smart larger TV. After I fell in love with a TV at the BX on base, and Hubby was leaning toward one at Target, we decided to not buy either and figure out- not while standing in the electronics aisle- what we could compromise on. As we drove away from Target, we posed the question to the kids of which TV they'd rather have.
The Ginger didn't care. The Girl's answer shocked the hell out of us:
"Why don't we not buy any TV because there isn't anything wrong with the one we have, and we leave the $600 in the bank to save it up?"
I'm sorry, what? Did the almost 11 year old just whip out the Responsibility Card on us? Did she just school us on money management?
Hubby and I sat there, speechless. We were offering the kids a brand new TV for the living room- either a big one or a smaller one with internet capabilities, and The Girl advised us to save our money.
Either Hubby and I are really good parents, or our daughter was kidnapped by aliens in the middle of the night and they replaced her with a clone that is trying to learn our human ways.
Don't get me wrong, there are times I'm an excellent parent. Teaching my kids the value of money is not one of those times. Hubby and I are horrible with money (hence the wanting to drop $600 on a TV we didn't necessarily need). I extreme coupon to be able to keep the house stocked with essentials because I never know how much money we'll blow when we get paid every few weeks (plus I love the thrill of getting crap for free).
That's when it hit me. Maybe I didn't teach the child anything about money management. Maybe she's learning from our mistakes. Maybe she's seen how Hubby and I spend money, and then end up broke, then spend more money, then end up broke, and she doesn't want to continue the cycle for herself... or us anymore, for that matter.
You know what? In this day and age of parenting, I'll take it. I'll take the lesson taught to our children based on mistakes they've watched us make. I'll tally that one as a win on the side of Hubby and I... which is why we decided to keep the money in the bank and not buy a new TV.
Fingers crossed The Girl will also learn the lessons of my mistakes when it comes to eating an entire box of brownie mix after 8pm when you are over 30, popping that second head of a pimple that's growing on your face which leaves scars, and online dating.