In a world where we have a get what you want attitude, it is hard to raise your children with any common knowledge and understanding on how to handle finances wisely.
This is a crucial, very fundamental part of life to help you survive once you move out on your own. Society will show that we’re not doing a very good job at educating the next generation. I guess with the average age of leaving home getting later and later its probable that you want to ensure your kids aren’t under your roof for another 40years. It might sound mean and harsh to prepare them to GET OUT as soon as possible, but really – you didn’t have kids to be their babysitter or luxury giver – you were simply joyously partaking in the circle of life. So, the pattern of life should go that you nurture them, help them develop and grow and become INDEPENDANT and move out to create their own offspring and do the same.
I don’t come from the 50’s. I don’t know what it was like back in ‘the day’ but since being a kid myself- times have certainly changed. Our expectations have changed and the demands of children on their parents has gone beyond any respect or appreciation. It is disturbing to think about the rate this is changing. I question what it will be like when my 3year old needs to buy a house or my 1year old has to get her first car. We cannot possibly go into tremendous debt to finance their lavish lifestyle which has become the norm. And we only have two kids, what about families with 3 or more children. Where do you draw the line? They honestly don’t know any different and i really believe they think they are HARD done BY if they have to wait for something or work for something.
With kids relying so much on everyone else to support them, I began to think about what we are teaching them by letting them get away with it. How does tolerating their lack of responsibility help them or US as parents?
Someone has to take control. But how?
Without needing a financial counsellor or financial advisor or financial planner, how does anyone know what they are doing with regard to managing their finances?
They learn the basic principles from a very young age and carry that into adulthood.
It’s so simple that most people will not consider it.
It’s easy to do, but it’s also easy not to do.
So what it is? You ask . . .?
Earning and Accountability.
Working for something – doing the hard work before you receive the reward. (not the other way round). So in other words, saving up for something special, rather than putting it on credit and worrying about paying it off later.
Doing without – so, if something breaks, you compromise or go without, not just immediately replace it with a newer more advanced model.
Starting small – accepting that you cannot have the biggest and best of everything right from the start. You need to accommodate what you can afford until you are in a position to upgrade.
Not spending all you earn – creating a plan/budget that you will tithe 10% of your income, save 10% of your income, separate other percentages to allocate to commitments and everyday expenses before luxury items.
In practice to teach these principles to my own children – I experiment with everyday situations that are relevant to a 3 and 1 year old. My philosophy is to get them used to dealing with the little stuff so that they have ease handling the bigger stuff. Things like, they might see a treat on the bench and want it –right then and there! No questions, no blinking, no listening to instruction. My approach is simply give them a barter offer. . . basically training them that they have to either earn or wait for the treat or have something healthy first. This will allow them to appreciate it and not take it for granted as a given. Understanding that it IS a treat, it IS a rare occasion and sometimes there IS effort involved in getting rewarded in life or getting what you want.
I don’t know, they’re only 3 and 1 –so time will tell whether this technique works or not with finances. You can only try to apply what you know, right?