Children and Money

Another quote from the Parents Review articles at Ambleside Online, this one in an article titled “Money” written by Dorothea Beale.

Teaching the use of Money.–I wish more pains were taken to educate children in spending rightly and conscientiously. It is of great importance that they should have some regular allowance, increasing gradually from the penny of the little one to sums bearing relation to the needs of the older child. I cannot help thinking it would be well if the growing girl had a larger fixed allowance than is usually given, and were called on to provide out of it many things usually supplied by the mother. I am sure it would often heck extravagance, educate the judgment, awaken the sense of responsibility, and teach lessons which can be learned only by degrees, and in the school of experience. How often do girls pass from a home in which everything has been provided for them, into one in which they have to purchase all their experience, and it may be at ruinous cost.

Experience, too, is like the Sybil’s books, it grows dearer as we delay; that which in childhood we could have purchased for a few pence, costs in mature life perhaps more than all our money and happiness.

I think children should early begin to keep classified account-books showing how much is wasted on selfish indulgences, as sweets, and how much is spent on books, gifts, on charity, etc. Such a book would certainly convict many of greediness and selfishness.

She also talks about spending money and offers Genesis as three categories:

(1) All that is necessary to sustain the health and activity of the body.
(2) That which satisfies the sense of order and beauty, which shows we are not mere animals whose instinct is to live, but children of Him Who created a Kosmos, Who has made all things beautiful in their season.
(3) On acquiring that knowledge which sustains and makes possible something more than the life of the body and the life of sense, that which helps to interpret and harmonise our life.

1 Comment

  1. Cindy

    I wish we had done a better job of this but at least the boys knew how much hard work a dollar was.


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