Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kids And Financial Responsibility

I didn’t grow up with a good understanding of money management. The only thing I managed to do was spend it. When my girls turned 16 it was important to me that they learn to budget their money. The money they earned wasn’t there for them to just blow it on whatever they wanted.

When they got their first car it was with the understanding they would pay for their own car insurance, maintenance, and gas. Not only that, they had to pay for their own monthly phone bills.
First Day of Work
At the beginning of July, my oldest son got his first job. I thought it would be a great idea. Well, it is, except for the fact that he has to rely on me for transportation since he’s only 15, and the job he got has him working mostly on weekends. That would all be fine and dandy if we didn’t have most of our weekends planned already.

We usually go to VA to spend one weekend every month with my parents. There’s always something going on, some holiday or birthday. Last weekend Fred and I had to cancel our mystery train dinner with my family because Buddy is working. I had no way to get him to and from work.

Yea, I sort of shot myself in the foot in my haste to have Buddy get a job. It was all fun and games until his job cramped our weekend style. I’m thankful that this weekend he was able to take Saturday off because we’re heading to the ocean.

Alright, all of that said for me to get to this. It is SO important for our kids to learn time and money management. It was hard on me as a single mom because there was a level of guilt that my girls had to pay for a lot of the things they wanted that I couldn’t afford when I lived in MN.

My oldest has come back to me, thanking me that I made it so she had to work at a young age. I mean, she was 16 (so was her sister) when she got a job at The Marketplace in town. At college she knew so many people who had so little responsibility because they didn’t have to work or pay for anything. She felt like she was hand over fist ahead of the kids the same age as her. I want the same thing for my boys.

I have a better paying job now and things are somewhat easier, even without my ex paying child support. My boys will have a somewhat less financially stressful life because of where I am with my job. That doesn’t mean THEIR responsibility will be any less.

My boys will need to save at least half of their paycheck, tithe 10%, and have spending money with the rest. Buddy already knows he wants a smartphone. We all know it’s not that simple. It’s not just about getting a phone. There’s the monthly bill and not going over on data or minutes. He also can’t get the phone immediately. He has to have his job for a few months before he’s able to get a new phone and new phone bill.
Malachi 310
What Buddy is starting to experience is having money burning away in his pocket. When we went to the movies last weekend, he wanted a $4 box of candy. I refused at first. I can’t stomach spending that much money on a box of candy at the movies. I tried explaining to him how ridiculous it is to spend that kind of money, but sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

Down the road he can look back and hopefully see that it wasn’t money well spent and that sometimes he needs to step back and see that it’s a “want in the moment” feeling. My hope is that he will experience tough choices while under my roof, and with some guidance, so he will have a parent alongside him.

What ways do you teach your kids to be financially responsible?


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.