Driving more expensive cars
Wearing designer clothing
Birthday party for Billy & his 15 friends
Constantly eating out
All of these are great to have but I’m an advocate for having what you need before having what you want.
I teach my clients the tools of building and protecting the ‘4 walls’ (food – shelter- transportation- clothing) and building a solid foundation BEFORE you put the roof on.
Many families today “feel” (yes emotion drives 80% of our money handling) as though their children will suffer if they don’t have the newest bat, the UGG boots, and the party for 15 at Chucky Cheese.
I truly believe this started with our 80’s generation because I don’t remember my parents being focused on making sure I had $100 pairs of NIKE’s, and a birthday party that cost as much as a monthly car payment.
They knew better.
Sure, they had there set of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s too’ but the credit frenzy was just beginning when I was a teenager.
We had the Sears and JCPenney cards (didn’t everyone?) but I didn’t watch my parents charge the washer/dryer on 90 days same as cash. They didn’t finance our childhood pet.
They did what most American’s did before credit became a ‘normal way of life” they paid CASH and only when they could afford it.
Kids And Credit
So how is this new credit action affecting our children?
Really think about the long term effects our buying decisions and behaviors have on our kids. If you are using credit cards to get your nails done, take the family vacation, and stopping at Panera, Papa Gino’s, and Outback for dinner this week, these are the behavior patterns our kids see AND become accustomed to.
They don’t SEE cash leave your hands.
They don’t SEE half of the weekly paycheck going out the door for the family cell phone plan with unlimited minutes, texts, and data.
They don’t SEE the cable bill came in $70 higher because it snowed for three days and school was canceled, and the added cost of ‘hitting the rent movie button’ actually takes away from the normal budget.
Unless you are talking to them about what it takes to run a household and modeling the things you know will create healthy adults down the road, you are missing out on an opportunity to teach your children what Mastercard & Discover will teach them if you don’t.
Start using an ‘envelope system”.
I’m a huge fan of what this one tool provided in terms of my kids SEEING a change in my behavior.
When we stopped for a bite to eat at a drive thru for example I had my son pull out the envelope and the unfamiliar cash to pay for the order.
Same at the grocery store, if they are with me, they open up the envelope and can see the $$ leaving …
Proud MomThey also are quick to count what’s left and tell me ‘that’s it? we better be careful!”
I’m proud of this because I know there is a huge difference in their awareness (not just mine) that has benefited them with my changing my pattern from ignorance to understanding.
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