WOW Your Kids!
I am currently in the Philippines with my kids and we have enjoyed our vacation here. Because the cost of living is so low, my mom has hired 2 nannies to take care of my kids. I allow them to do the laundry, cook and help them get ready in the morning, but my kids are disciplined to not be spoon-fed. I cringe when I see kids here 7 years old and older being spoon fed.
Before my children came to the Philippines, they had saved all their money from their living, play and donation jars. I kid you not, but I have not spent a single cent on anything the kids have bought. My daughter Jardel bought all her clothes and Dylan has paid for his massages (yes, he loves them like Mommy and they are only $7 per hour here). We have had so much fun as a family while being financially responsible. Not only that, but my kids still give their tithing in church and have given to their sister in Christ that we have sponsored for the past 3 years here in the Philippines. Making money real to my kids is THE best way to teach them money management.
WOW your kids! One of the things I have been intentional about throughout our vacation are the experiences I want my kids to have. Some of their firsts are having a fish spa, where they dipped their legs into a tank filled with hundreds of fish and the fish eat the dead skin off of their legs, snorkeling in the ocean and feeding all types of fish while doing so, riding a horse by a volcano, and eating at the bottom of the waterfalls…everything is educational. They have an even more true appreciation when we passed by the slums and they saw all the little kids begging for money and food. And, they are proud to understand that all that they have has been rightfully earned. On the other hand, my kids also have questions like, “If people are so poor, why do they spend $4 for a coffee at Starbuck’s?” All over the world, financial literacy is so needed in a world screaming of entitlement…even here in the Philippines, where the average income is $3,000 per year. We have experienced riding in an air conditioned car with a driver and a tricycle packed like sardines…everything with purpose. My kids learn best through experience, and the experiences they’ve had here are definitely some of the greatest learnings they will take on throughout their life.
We’ll be back in a week, and people have asked me if I miss home. I say, “Home is where my heart is, and my heart is with my kids.”