You Know You're a YNABer when... parenting edition
...back to school is happening and since your oldest is now only a year away from kindergarten, so you start a "back to school" category to fund monthly between now and then.
Aritavashkai That is a totally legit concern and I will give you my .02 cents, based entirely on my own childhood experiences.
I don't think there is anything wrong with communicating to your children that things cost money to purchase and to maintain: housing, food, toys, electronics, pets, damn near everything we encounter. For me, it would have been helpful if my parents had given some insight as to why they were purchasing certain things and not others, or why things were given priority (in their defense, their spending was not very intentional until quite recently - thanks YNAB! - so I don't know that they could have offered that insight, but I digress).
Instead, I always knew that there was this stress about money that I didn't fully understand. If I had known a bit more, I likely would have insisted on getting a job ("School is your job!"). As it was, I was always stressed about asking for something related to school, or for gas money, or for anything, because I knew it would upset my parents on some level. The day my dad wrote checks for my college application fees was beyond traumatic. Instead of encouraging me about applying to some really great schools (first in my family to go to college!), he was bitching about the cost and acting surprised by the whole thing. It was absolutely awful. I was sitting at the computer, crying, as I printed out my applications while he railed about the whole process.
This is getting way longer than I intended, but as long as you explain things to your kids in an age-appropriate way, letting them know that your financial situation is NOT their fault, it can be quite an education. And instead of getting stressed when I respond to my kid's request for something that costs money (as my parents did), I now say, "Well, that's not in the budget right now, but maybe we can work on saving up for that. Or you can ask for it for Christmas or your birthday." And we also model that attitude back to her - or at least we're working on it. :-)