Debt Free at Age 5

Miss Love owed her daddy some money.

Because she did not take care of his stuff, something expensive got broken.   based on the circumstances, we decided that Miss Love needed $25 to pay daddy back.

$25 is a huge amount of money for her.

This was money that was not going to come out of her Long Term Savings, and it wasn’t just going to come out of Xmas or Birthday Money (Although she did get a $2 bill for Xmas that I let count, because what else is she going to do with it.  Daddy kind of collects them and we are not starting that with Miss Love, but more on that in the future.) This was money that she was going to have to earn.

We have a list of jobs that can be done, and whenever I think of something new I ask her if she wants a job.  It’s not the same as chores.  She can say no if she wants.  At Nana’s house over the holidays she did some work.  They pay more for washing windows than I do, but like Papa said, their windows were bigger, and probably dirtier.  She did a collection of odd jobs, windows, floors, bathrooms, etc. to collect dimes and quarters to pay off her debt.

It took her a couple of months, but today we counted up the money.  And she had earned $23.  I was really proud of her.  When we first agreed on the repayment plan, I was worried that it was too much for her.  She is only 5.  But I think she has felt good about making this right.  She has worked hard and had to give up things that she wanted to buy.  But I don’t think we could have come up with a more powerful lesson on many if we had tried.

But she was still $2 short.

So we made a plan.  We looked at the jobs that she could do, and how much money she would earn doing them.  She chose enough jobs so that she could earn the money (minus tithe) to pay Daddy back today.  She was actually quite giddy when she was dusting the stairs.

I joked that she could call in to Dave Ramsey and yell, “I’m Debt Free!…”

She just looked at me.

I think I am going to have to learn to love that look.

I think she has learned that having debt sucks (can I say that here?)

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Leave me a comment.  Tell me you stopped by.  And do you think I am a terrible mother for making my five-year old earn $25?