Teaching financial responsibility.

This week I took my children to the store with the intent of getting supplies for my youngest son's upcoming birthday party. Typically this is a pretty cut and dry procedure. For some reason my older son had it in his head to show every single thing in the store to his little brother and suggest that these would be good things to have at the party. I started out by ignoring this behavior but finally felt I had to address it. My older son is 12 years old and knows that when he suggests to his little brother that "we should get something" that his little brother is going to expect that certain something. Our older son is also old enough to know that we have certain limitations in our financial resources that dictate just how much we are going to spend on certain activities. When I suggested to him that he might want to buy his brother all of the toys and party decorations he was pointing out he promptly said that he didn't have the money. I then asked what was leading him to believe that I also had the money? He said that we could always take out payday advances and that he had heard all about them somewhere. This led to a long conversation about choices that his father and I will and will not make with our finances and acquiring debt. I think it is really important to have these type of ongoing conversations with my children because my parents never did. I might have made a great many choices differently in my younger years had someone honestly discussed financial responsibility with me.