We can't afford IT !

As parents for the first time, Collin and I can't help but spoil Kaila.  It's so easy to because we're so in love with this little girl.  One smile and we'll buy her the moon.  We both have been very good managers of our money but when it comes to Kaila, all senses go out the window !!!  I'm sure many first timer can parents relate with us on this "spoil" subject !  baby stuff is so darn cute.  Also for us, because the fact that we both grow up with so little and now that we can afford it, we go all out with her.  The thing is though, at almost 2 years old, Kaila is at the discovery stage so everything is new and exciting for her and it seems that she likes EVERYTHING !!!  then in about 30 min. she's done with it and move onto other activities.

The other day, when I was watching Kaila playing in her room, for a brief slice of time I couldn't find her amongst her toys.  In a moment of shocking revelation, I see that my good intentions of wanting to encourage her to learn and play, I have overwhelmed her.  I decided I'm going to pack some toys away and re-introduce her to them later on so it'll be like a new toy for her when I take them out.  Kaila has many toys that is recommended for 3+ so we should be able to go for a year without purchasing new toys for her.  And when that time come, I want us to limit what we buy too.  Kaila understands and knows alot of things right now.  She's testing her boundaries with us everyday, over everything > eating, playing, sleeping, reading, listening.  As parents though we want to give her everything, we must NOT !  we need to teach her that she cannot have everything.  It will be a learning curve for us but we must commit to it if we don't want rotten spoiled kid !  the kinds that we see at restaurants and malls and shook our heads at !!!

I once was a poor manager of my money.  Before marrying Collin, I use to spend all of my pay cheques on clothing and shoes.   I shop every week and then stash my goods in the closet the go out again the next week hunting for more "things".  It was somewhat of an addiction.  The buying process would put me in a state of euphoria so I always feel the need of buying.  I didn't realize how bad it was until when I got married and have to confess to Collin that I'm thousands of dollars in debt.  Collin, a non-believer of debt, went throught a state of shock I'm sure as my debt is now his, ours debt !  He put me on a financial diet and we eventually paid if off !  But it was a rough ride for us as I was going through widthdrawal.  There were days where I would purposely go home early before Collin, recycle the shoes box (destroy purchasing evident) and hide the goods somewhere in the house. New clothes were stuff under the bed and drawer and sometime I doubled up clothes on the hanger so he doesn't see the new shirt.  I never lie to Collin so my justification for all these hidings was, if he doesn't ask I don't have to tell.  And when he noticed something new I would tell him, "I got them a while ago".  Which was true. 

I thought my spending habit was harmless because I pay all my bills on time, no interests were incurred.  However, I also spent alot of our money on wasteful things which can be saved up for bigger things.  Collin is really good with our money so somewhere along the way of our marriage, I pick up habits from him and slowly I shop less, say NO to things I don't really like, fight the impulse buyer's urge, shop around, etc.  I didn't stop shopping but I shop smarter.  I buy what I need more than want.  I look for deals and coupons.  And instead of feeling bummed out over an item that's not avail. I'm now happy to see money grown in my account. 

I remember reading a clip from the Wealthy Barber (personal finance books) about how important it is to acknowledge to yourself that there are things you cannot afford.  Because many people cannot acknowledge to their self that "I can't afford it", people would live outside of their mean, use their credit card or get a line of credit to buy what they want, then put themself in a debt hole that takes years and years to dig out of.  We don't want Kaila to be one of those people.  We think it's important to teach her to save and make decission with what she wants to purchase with her savings.  She needs to know that money is limited and that she will have to make a choice to buy whatever she likes now or save it for something else she really likes later.  And because kids copy their parents, we know we need to model good spending behaviour too !!!  Which we are trying and practicing everyday.