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The Rewards Look Great, but It's Still a Trash Bin

Photo by Ginna Shernoville on Unsplash

I continue to believe that I'm somehow making progress on teaching my children to make wise financial decisions. This belief is entirely delusional. I know it's a delusional belief because my children continue to return to the claw machine, despite my passionate pleas that it's a complete waste of their money and my attempts to make "claw machine" synonymous with "trash bin."

"Are you sure you want to throw your allowance money in the trash bin?" I asked my daughter Saturday evening.

"Yes, I am!" And here we go:

Now I'm just desperate for ideas. Email please.

What's interesting about all this is that feelings play such a strong role in the spending of money. I don't like spending money because my wife and I are tight on the stuff, and I'm anxious to get us to a place where we can live comfortably and prepare more effectively for the future and for eventual retirement. My daughter, on the other hand, feels a strong desire for material things because she's only six and six-year-olds love material things. She knows that we can't afford a lot of stuff right now, so the draw of being able to spend just a little money to get a lot in return is pretty huge. As an entrepreneur, I'm pretty sympathetic. It's all very emotional stuff.

Emotional spending was one of the themes of my recent interview with Veta Jeffery, Senior Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Midwest BankCentre. Veta, a friend of mine with whom I've had the pleasure to serve in the nonprofit world, has a lot of wonderful advice on emotional spending.

In particular, she addresses the pressure we're all feeling right now to overspend in order to compensate for what we may not have been providing during the normal year. As wonderful as this season is, it can be a dangerous one financially. Let's fight back the emotional aspects of spending and not throw our money in the trash bin.

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