Monday, March 4, 2013

Maaaaybe all my frugality talk has been received too well

I buy N a Lunchable once a year, and I have three reasons for only buying it once a year.  First, they are expensive.  I can buy lunch meat and crackers for way cheaper.  Secondly, they are not terribly healthy.  If I've ever seen any with fruit in them, it is fruit canned in high fructose corn syrup.  Third, I have not yet reached the point of laziness/busyness that I can't throw together a packed lunch.

So the once a year Lunchable is an established rule in our house.
We have other food purchasing rules, like I only purchase Oreos once a year (when we go on either a big trip or a small day trip).  Another rule is on the unfortunate occasions when I must take a child to the store for an extended shopping visit, if the kids get a treat from the grocery it has to be cereal or yogurt or a bag of chips (which is then shared among them).  Most of the time their selections aren't healthy but they aren't as far down on the scale of unhealthy as candy bars, doughnuts or cookies.

Back to the Lunchable.

I told N I would buy her one that she could take on her birthday last week since it was a snow makeup day and there wasn't anything written on the school lunch calendar for her to know whether she wanted to purchase a school lunch or not.

At some point, N said, "I can get some money from my bank to help pay for my Lunchable."

I had to laugh when she said this, but it also made me reflect on whether I take the frugality speak a little too far sometimes.

I certainly don't tell the kids we're poor or any such nonsense, but I do tell them that we budget our money and have to make choices about what we do, which is 100% the truth.  I tell them we consign the things we no longer wear or play with so that we can get clothes that do fit each season (which is really more because momma hates clutter than anything else).  I tell them that if they destroy something of mine, I will sell some of their stuff to help replace what they broke (it remains to be seen whether I would actually do this, but I think my kids know me well enough not to test me).

While I want the kids to be money-savvy and wise about their spending, I don't want them to become unnecessarily anxious about spending money, and I can't help but wonder if N's comment is tinged with a little of this fear.

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