Money Might Grow on Trees

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A few weeks ago, I was taking out the trash. I went down to the garage with my girls entertained with Max and Ruby. When I came back up, not 5 minutes later, they were watching 8 Mile (with Eminem), and they were watching it On Demand for $2.99. My oldest didn’t realize that she spent money, and couldn’t quite grasp the concept when I explained it to her.
How about today, when I went upstairs to find my daughter searching the iTunes store? I, again, tried to explain that things cost money, but all she understood was that she gets what she wants by pressing a button.
Growing up, my mother and father always gave themselves on an allowance. To this day, they have never had an ATM or a debit card. They walk into the bank and make face-to-face deposits with the tellers who know them by name.
In our household? I rarely carry cash; I use my debit card for everything. This works for me, but how am I supposed to teach children the value of money when they never actually see it in use? The concept of online banking and debit/credit cards isn’t something that a five-year-old should understand.
I desperately want my girls to understand the value of money and the importance of saving for something you need or want. My oldest is in a bit of a ‘gimme’ phase. She wants everything she sees. She NEEDS everything she sees. I do my best to explain that we make a certain amount of money, and some go here, some go there, and some gets saved. That leaves a small amount for other things, but not for every single thing that we want. It doesn’t sink in. Is it possible for them to understand this at all? Can I effectively teach them to manage money without putting a set amount in an envelope and writing everything I spend on the outside as my mother did?
I’m curious about what others do to ensure that your kids grow up with a sense of money and budgeting. Anyone?