By Heather C.
|Lily doing one of her chores -- feeding her sister|
I feel It is safe to say that my husband and I are financially sound minded. No, we do not have extraordinary savings accounts but we have some emergency money. We buy used vehicles instead of new. We make large purchases only during sales. We save up for new extras that we want rather than putting them on credit. And the larger majority of our clothes were purchased on clearance or second hand. We are frugal. We live within our means.
With that said, we agree on one very important factor, we are not saving for our children’s’ college. Or their weddings. Or a new car for their 16th birthdays. We DO set aside money every month for each child and maybe when they are older they will choose to use the money on one of these things. That will be their decision when they are responsible enough to make it.
When they receive Christmas or Birthday money it goes into their accounts. We don’t use it on diapers or groceries or for our date money. It goes directly towards their personal accounts. We do not touch their money. Our three year old is now old enough to help with some chores so she will start earning a small allowance as well. Half of her allowance will go into her account and the other half will be used to teach her about giving and spending and savings.
So why are we such heartless parents? HA! We aren’t. I promise. We were raised in well rounded families that had financial struggles along the way just like most families. We were taught to appreciate the things that we do have and not to worry about what others have. We were both brought up to be leaders and not followers. I have a lot of respect for the way my parents raised me. No, I haven’t always been happy about having to do chores or not having the money for brand names but looking back on my childhood, I realize these things shaped the amazing adult I’ve become. (Not to toot my own horn or anything.)
If we have the ability to help our daughters when it comes time for these and other big expenses throughout their lives, we absolutely will. My point is that we are teaching them that working for what they want will teach them a greater amount of appreciation for their possessions and accomplishments.
The current generation is turning out to be a lot of the “gimme, gimme, gimme” type. Young women are more focused on weddings than marriages. Teenagers have no idea that car doors aren’t all unlocked with a remote. And kids go to college to grow up and become more socially responsible rather than to get a higher education.
Maybe if those women had to save up their own money, they’d care more about the marriage lasting than throwing a large party. Maybe if teenagers had to buy their own cars, they’d be less likely to drive them recklessly. And if kids had to appreciate just what value their education costs, maybe they’d spend more time studying and less time partying, goofing around, or getting into trouble.
So before you start setting aside hundreds of dollars for your children, make sure you think about what you want to teach them about money and how your handouts might affect them in the future.
You can contact Heather by emailing her at email@example.com.
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