Today I read a great post on Free From Broke about how you shouldn’t spoil your kids and buy them everything. I agree with that. Even if your kids are getting an allowance from you, they still need to learn to be financially accountable for their actions. And they sometimes need to be told “no” when something just isn’t affordable.
I also think that children need to be financial accountable for their things. My son recently ruined a nice shirt worn to church through carelessness. We could have just bought him a new one. But we wanted him to understand the importance of taking care of what we have. So we had him pay for half the new shirt. (We thought, for his age, and his allowance, it would be overkill to have him pay for the whole thing.)
My son knows that if he ruins something, or breaks a toy, he is responsible for the new version. If we just buy him everything, he doesn’t learn to value it — and he could learn that the way to solve problems is to spend more money. We all know that money doesn’t always fix things. We also plan to have him help out with his college education costs. While we will help, I think it’s important that he do his part as well.
What about you? Is it important to hold your children financially accountable?