Amari received a $100 check from her grandmother. She was so excited! Before she did anything with it, we sat down to discuss how it would be used: 10% for tithes, 10% to a charitable organization of her choosing (which she decided would go to provide toiletries for people on Skid Row), some to her savings account, and the rest could be used for whatever she wanted. She chose to put 40% in the bank and to keep the remaining 40% to buy all the things I normally say no to—candy, chocolate milk, unhealthy snacks, etc. I watched her. She spent her money VERY slowly. She made and revised lists and bought only the things she really wanted and only IF they were on sale.
What ended up bringing the biggest smile to my face was the fact that she decided to buy her little sister a birthday present with some of her money. We went to Babies R Us, just to look around, and she headed to the sales rack and found an adorable pair of pajamas on sale for 8 dollars. She insisted on buying them for Halle. I reminded her that she only had 11 dollars left at the time, and with tax, she wouldn’t have very much left once she purchased the PJ’s. “That’s ok,” she said. “I want to get Halle something really nice.”
Later on we had (yet another) little talk. I told her that I was proud of her. I told her to remember during her life that whenever she receives a financial blessing, she should ALWAYS tithe. It is a practice that she must make a habit even at a young age. That way it won’t be difficult when she gets older. I told her that she is always to use a portion of her blessing to bless another. I assured her that she would be blessed beyond measure for this. “Don’t give to receive, but understand that you will receive when you give. It’s just the way things work.”
I told her that she should always save and invest—not necessarily for a rainy day, but for financial freedom. (If I had begun as a child there’s no telling how far along I’d be.)
I’ll eventually throw in that a portion of her earnings/gifts should always go toward increasing her knowledge base, but for now I’ll cover the costs associated with that.
I admire that Amari stuck with her spending game plan. Although we didn’t put the $40 in the bank right away, she held on to it. She didn’t dip into it (as I may have if it were mine and sat around too long). She definitely has what it takes to do great things! She has tons of drive. She is focused. She knows how to prioritize. She understands beyond her years. She listens to my lectures and really tries to internalize my messages. She sets goals and achieves them! She is my little hero.