There is something to be said for teaching your kids to save their pennies. I have two All-American kids who enjoy doing their part in stimulating our slow economy. They are quick to spend my money but they’ll sit on theirs like it is the last dollar they will ever earn. I must admit though, this has been my goal to teach the kids to save.
Now my kids earn their money. They are up at the crack of dawn doing barn chores, i.e. milking, feeding, filling water buckets, giving medicines, etc. This means 5:30 am most mornings whether it is raining, snowing, 30 below or 100 degrees and humid. Like normal kids they grumble when I wake them up but soon they are bouncing out of the house without a fight because well…it useless. It must be done.
They do barn chores twice a day in addition to their “inside” chores like taking the trash out, doing the dishes, homework, cleaning, and laundry. They also have to clean the barn every 3 weeks which has become a two day job in itself.
To them, their reward comes in the little things and a few big things. The little being a new bouncing baby and getting an every day chuckle or good belly laugh at something comical the animals seem to do. The big being getting to show their animals at the Tioga County Fair and winning a class that maybe they have never won before. Also, selling that market hog or lamb and getting (what seems like to them) a big paycheck.
My kids each sold a market hog at the fair last year. Mikey also sold a market lamb. These were just a couple of the many 4H projects they do each year. They also carry dairy goat projects and digital photography too. Anyway, they took their money and sat on it all year. So many times they were tempted to buy the latest in sneaker fashion or a video game. I would ask them, “Is that what you really want? Are you sure you want to spend your hard earned money on that?” Every time they thought better about it.
This winter we sat down and had a discussion about the animals. We knew we needed two new bucks….a saanen and a nubian. Mikey decided after seeing Todd Biddle’s animals at the farm show to purchase with his 4H money a buckling out of his herd. I made him do the wheeling and dealing with Todd. He asked Vince and I our opinion but everything else was his decision. I think he made a smart one.
Katie has coveted the Saada nubians ever since we purchased our very first nubian several years ago. You can see them here at www.saadagoats.com. They are beautiful animals but very expensive. She saved her 4H money for two years until she finally had enough to put herself on the waiting list for a buck out of their herd. They weren’t taking any more reservations for 2008 so the soonest she could have gotten one was 2009. Then she had to fly the buck here to PA.
I happened to be checking my emails and noticed notification of a Saada yearling buck for sale. I checked into it for Katie. We sat and studied pedigrees and pictures. She checked her bank account and I doubled checked with Vince to see what he thought. We all agreed….Katie purchased him.
*B Saada Blue Flame is his official name but we call him “Burning Flame” as he is sure to set things on fire around here. You can view pictures of his Dam and Sire under the Herdsires page on our website at www.badabingfarm.netfirms.com. He already has one champion leg and Katie is dying to show him this spring and summer. We both are already dreaming of the 2008/2009 kidding season.
I am so happy to see my kids set goals, make a plan to reach them, save their money and then obtain those goals. The kids said to me yesterday….”This is better than any video game and makes it all worth it.”
That comment made it all worth it to me…I’ll put up with sleepless nights, back pain, and snide remarks from not-so-nice jealous people out there.
Now if I could only get them to clean their rooms…anyone have an idea how to accomplish that?