Do you let your kids buy whatever they want with their money?

@sunshine4 (8707)
United States
September 11, 2008 7:50pm CST
My son is 14 yrs old. He has been working at a pizza ahop for the last 7 months. Just over this summer, he has decided to start saving his money. He saved way over $1000 and decided that he wanted to buy a motorhome that he found for sale for $900. Well, after much deliberation, my husband and I decided to let him go ahead and buy it. So many of our friends and family members think we are crazy! We don't see it that way. He is taking some money he makes each week and using it to fix up this motorhome. He has even decided that my husband is going to drive it when he takes the boys to a Steelers game this month. So what do you think? Do you let your kids buy whatever they want with their own earnings? Do you think we were crazy, or do you agree that it will be a fun project for him?
3 people like this
20 responses
• United States
13 Sep 08
I dont see any harm in what you have done. There are definitely things i wouldnt let a child buy, but if they are showing responsibility and maturity such as your son did, then i would probably let my son do it as well. if its something outrageous like 200 bucks for a piece of clothing or something, no way..but in your case your son is fixing up what he bought to make it even better, basically investing in it, he has a justifiable use for it like the steelers game, and who knows, maybe he can "flip" it and when he fixes it up he can resell it for profit and then do something even greater with the new money or put it away to save.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
17 Sep 08
My husband keeps telling him that he could flip it too. My son is like, no way..this is my baby.
@lanlan011 (701)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I dont think it is crazy because he can sell the motor home and make a profit. Wow he certainly has more money than me, im a year older. But i think that you should have him save up money and probably use it as spending money for college. But that is awesome, it feels like im wasting my life.
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@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
He has a college fund already started and has about $8000 in it. I know that is not much for college, but a great start! He already has someone who will buy it if he wants to sell, but I think he is keeping it for a while.
• United States
12 Sep 08
wow thats cool. i dont have a college fund so im screwed if i dont get a scholarship.
@Bebs08 (10685)
• United States
17 Sep 08
For me, it's not a crazy thing when we allow our kids to buy things from their money. But we should see to it that they are guided of what they are going to buy. If it is something useful and would help him in anyway, then go ahead. it is very inspiring to parents that their kids are working hard to earn money to buy things they want than merely asking money from parents to buy something. I really admire kids who are helping their parents that way. congratulations for having a good kid who knows how to earn.
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I agree that we should raise our kids to earn their own money rather than just handing it over whenever they want it.
• United States
16 Sep 08
I think thats fine, I also think its a great thing he asked he first! It shows how much he respects your opinion and the fact you were open with him and didn't forbid him from doing shows him, that he can come to you and you will have an open mind! My kids get an allowance and they save it for special things. I like to now what there buying before they do. Mostly because I have a 11 year old daughter that looks 14 and I want to make sure the skirts are not to high and the shirts to low. Oh and we stay away from the makeup department. But I also inquire about how the spent it and if they use it on something stupid (video games, candy ect) I am not replacing it when they want something special. So, I think knowing what they did with it is important but giving them a control is a good way to teach them the value of money, how to budget, its a taste of them being an adult!
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
17 Sep 08
I agree that it is good to know what kids are spending their money on. Thanks for your input.
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
13 Sep 08
First--- is there enough room in there for me?? for the Steelers games? I think it's fine--- after all it is his money that he earned and saved. Why not let him spend it the way he wants! I think it's neat that was what he wanted. What a fun project for him- Fixing it up.... a nice project that dad can help with too- for some great bonding time. How are the other kids doing? Any baby news yet? Problems with that odd man? Your daughter?
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
13 Sep 08
That is too funny! When they bought the tickets, they needed one more person and I thought....too bad Kris isn't closer, she could go with them:) He just today went to Joann Fabrics to buy some vinal to cover some of the walls inside as they are a bit grungy! We took the motorhome out last night to do some errands and pick up a pizza! I was way too funny. The other kids are doing well. No baby news yet. This is a good thing, they are too young and I think that they realize this, but you never know. They probably wouldn't tell us until she is farther along this time. The boys are both playing football, so we are busy with that. Kate is going to be trying indoor soccer this year, she has never played soccer before, so we'll see how that goes.
• Canada
13 Sep 08
I think the motor home sounds like a really great way for your teenager to learn some responsibility. Is he old enough to drive? When he is, he will have something to drive, and that will be great. He will be able to do all kinds of things with it, and the fact that he is going to fix it up, is even better! Good for him. I think it's a great idea.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
17 Sep 08
He isn't old enough to drive. You have to be 16 to drive in NY. He is all excited about when he gets his liscense he wants to drive it to school:)
• Canada
12 Sep 08
Wow that awesome. I think kids should be encouraged to do these sorts of things because it shows them what their hard earned money can do. I think this could be a great project for not only him but the whole family could have alot of fun with this. Great Job!!! My kids are not old enough to make their own money but when they do get some I usually try to convince them to save it for something big down the line.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
This has become a great project for him and my husband. I think my husband love working on it as much as my son does....it is a great bonding thing for them.
@my2boys (821)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I do let my son buy what he wants but tjen again he is only 4 and all he wants are toys and candy. He gets an allowance each week for cleaning his room. I am nt sure when he gets older and starts wanting more complicated things. I am not sure i would let him buy a motorhome at 14. But everyone is different and can do what they want with their kids.
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I never would have imagined that i would have let my son buy a motorhome at 14 either...but I guess my opinions have changed there the years of my boys growing. I remember when he was buying pokemon cards with every cent he earned!
@rainmark (4302)
12 Sep 08
I would let my kids to buy whatever they want with thoier own money. But first thing, im going to explain to him what ideal stuff to buy and not to buy. I will educated him what is the important of money and it is not nice to waste it for no important things,but instead he can save it for future and a nice stuff or his collection.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
That is very important to explain to the kids what is a good buy and what isn't. Sometimes they really dont care what we think, but in the end, my kids listen to us and respect our decisions.
• United States
12 Sep 08
Wow, my son is 13 and would love to buy a car..not a motorhome. Not a fancy car. As a matter of fact he would love to buy a beat up Chevy or something and fix it up. If he found one and could afford it, I would let him buy it.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
A car is next on his list. He wants a sweet car though, like a mustang...I told him to keep dreaming until he becomes a very experienced driver.
@Seppy1984 (2145)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I think you guys allowing him to buy the motor home was good deed on your behalf. Because with him buying the motor home, it is teaching him how to be responsible with his money. I would much rather have a child that wanted to buy a motor home instead of buying junk food with his money. Plus the rest of the money he earns is going to teach him independant and working skills because he is going to fix up the motor home with the extra money. In the long run when he gets done fixing it he will have something to show for. Compared to other children who I know usally blow there money on junk food or stuff that they dont take care of so what do they have to show for, nothing. So you guys made the right decision about allowing your son to spend his money the way he did.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
Thanks seppy. It is nice to hear that others agree with our decision. My mil didn't agree at all. She was very rude when my son wanted to show it to her!!
• United States
12 Sep 08
Yes I think this is great... he's doing it for the family and not just himself and that is AWESOME! You must be so proud! Yes i'd let my sons buy whatever they want as long as it didn't effect their health, but they too are pretty responsible too so I don't really have to worry about them making bad decisions, they seem to always want my opinion on things too so that is good. :)
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I love that my kids also ask my opinion when they want to purchase something. For the motorhome, he had to ask our permission so he could get it registered in my husbands name and put on our insurance.
@ronaldinu (12439)
• Malta
12 Sep 08
I would agree that you leave your kids free to buy whatever they want with their money. That's the way they learn to prioritize and buy only needed things. However I am in favour that they should spend only half of what they have saved so they can deal with the rest in case of a rainy day.
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
Oh I agree too. Savings is very important. I make them save some of their money too. It is crazy how fast they can save and here I am scrimping and scraping!! Guess I taught them right early in life. Hopefully they always have a good savings to fall back on.
@jfeets726 (775)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I am differnet because my daughter is 4 years old. So, money that we give her or that she gets from birthdays may total ($20) aside from what we put in her savings account. With that said, I personally think it is really neat what your child chose. Yes, it may seem weird to have a motor home when your son is only 14 to some, but I think people need to look past the whole not able to drive yet stage. I think it is neat he selected something that he won't like get bored with and toss the side (like a video game) in a few months. Then, the fact that he is fixing it up, it great too. In a few years, if he decides he doesn't want it anymore, he call sell it. If he is dong a lot of work to it, it sounds like he may even be able to make a profit. The greatest thing to me about your post, was how you mentioned he wants his father to drive it when they go to a football game. That alone, in my view, makes it worth all the money.
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
The best part about this football game is that he has always wanted to go to a Steelers game. The tickets are crazy! He told his dad he would pay for his ticket and his dads if dad would drive them. This was before the motor home was even bought. Each brother bought their own ticket too, so my husband is paying for the gas and snacks for the game. I think it will be a great experience for my husband to go with the boys somewhere without me! The motorhome was then bought and what a bright idea...take it to the game! They are all so excited!
• Singapore
12 Sep 08
I would advise him to save the money and tell hims that money is so much important when you trying to earn back the money again, tell him to take note of all the spending he had spend and try not to give him some pocket money during the holidays. Try let him have a taste of earning a living of his own.
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
He never asks me for money. I do pay for his school clothes and sporting stuff threw school and his school lunch, but other than that, he pays for it all. He pays me each week for his cell phone and the insurance on the motorhome. He also pays for his membership to the Y, all his misc spending on the weekends and every Christmas, he buys gifts for the family by himself. He is a great little saver, has a good job and works whenever they ask him...even takes on extra shifts if possible. He also still has $1300 in the bank savings for a car when he turns 16.
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I'm still technically a teenager, but my Mom's pretty much let me buy what I like with my money for most of my life. I've bought -- well in some's opinions anyways -- crazier things with my money than something as lovely as a motorhome. Largely, I think it depends on the responsibility of your kid. I've always been something of a workaholic and I've been looking after my family since I was eleven, so I think I've been responsible enough. And your kid has a real job and you and your husband talked it out, so I figure your kid is responsible enough. So no, I don't think you're crazy. =)
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
It is nice to get a teenagers point of view. Yes, all of my kids have worked since they were 14 and now really have become responsible when making purchases~ especially higher priced ones.
@srhelmer (7031)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
12 Sep 08
I don't see anything wrong with it. It teaches them responsibility because, if they want something expensive, they have to put their money aside for it. Too many parents just simply buy their kids whatever they want and they grow up not being fiscally responsible.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
My 8 yr old has the idea that we should buy her whatever she wants. NOT Happening!! I just gave her a job this summer to help me around the house and with the kids I babysit...she gets paid and that is her money to spend on all the little junky things she just has to have!
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
12 Sep 08
I think it is a good idea. My parents pretty much didn't let us spend our money it just sat in our savings accounts. so now that we are out on our own we both have impulse control problems when it comes to shopping. we both end up buying things we shouldn't. for example i bought an ipod a few months ago and right now i really could use that money for our bills. this way he will learn to be responsible with his money. and if he ends up regretting buying something he will learn to think more before he makes a major purchase.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
The funny thing is he already has a buyer if he wants to sell it! I do make my kids keep a certain amount in their savings account too, but if they have extra, then they buy what they want. Obviously, he had tons extra.
• United States
12 Sep 08
I think that is an awesome thing. My boyfriend's nephew is about the same age and is actually on his 2nd motor home. He bought a small one and his father helped him fix it up. Then John sold it, made a $200 profit and bought something a little better. He is thinking about doing the same thing with this one as well. Hey, if he is able to save that amount of money at such a young age--more power to him. There are many adults (including myself) who has problems saving. Let him buy what he wants right now. Let him be a kid while he can.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
12 Sep 08
Thanks sweet. I am glad to hear that we aren't the only crazys that let our 14 yr old buy a motorhome. My son actually has people in line to rent it from him for tailgating at different football games. He is always thinking about how he can make extra money....gee...I wonder where he getst that from:)
@Sam334 (125)
• Singapore
13 Sep 08
No matter how sensible your child is, there's still a chance he would end up doing the wrong things with the money he has. Personally, I would never give a child too much, even as allowance. We could start by giving allowance per day, then per week, then per month. If your child failed at handling money per month, we could change it back to per week again. While it is important to let your child to learn how to handle money, its still important to keep in mind that your child is still a child. I thought I was sensible, but there was once I spent thousands over on several useless things...
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
17 Sep 08
I don't give my child any money. He went out and got himself a job and saved his money.