Mom and Dad, Your Financial Decisions Matter
With Mother's Day in the recent past and Father's Day two days ago, I wanted to give credit where credit is due and encourage all the parents out there who are trying to teach their kids about money. Those things you're doing at home? They're working. Your kids are hearing it! Read below for some more suggestions as to what you can do to teach your kids about money. They worked on me!
I don't know why you care about money (though I'd love to hear it in the comments), but I care about money because my parents cared about money.
Really, it's that simple. When I was growing up, my parents both showed me and taught me that my money and how I chose to spend it was important. They gave me an allowance, but they both encouraged and reminded me to save some. They helped me choose toys that I wanted (and could eventually get) to save towards. When I was old enough, they got me a savings account so that I could get my bank statement in the mail each month and see my money making money (and so I could feel like a big person, and associate that "grown up" feeling with "saving," I suppose). Later on, they co-signed so I could open a checking account and taught me how to write a check, use my ATM card, and balance my checkbook every month.
Beyond all of these things, though, I saw my parents value their money. I saw my dad (and later my mom) go to work every morning so that we would be able to have the things we needed and wanted. I saw dad sit down with his checkbook every month and balance it. I saw him write checks to pay the bills and I saw the little stamped envelopes go out in the mail. I heard him on the phone with different financial planners over the years, sorting out investments and retirement funds.
I saw my mom buy things that were a good deal and skip the things that weren't, even when she wanted them. I helped her fill produce bags and weigh them, and then I helped her calculate what she'd pay. I sat down with her to learn how to write a check and I saw her resolve the discrepancies in my checkbook that I didn't understand.
I also saw the fruits of their labors. I watched them buy a car with cash. I went on vacations that we couldn't have taken without their careful saving. I saw the things that they could buy for each other and for us that wouldn't have been an option if they didn't have a financial plan.
So to Mom and Dad (and to all the moms and dads out there who care about money and who are trying to teach their children to do the same), thank you. Thank you for showing me not only that making wise decisions about my money was important, but how to make those and what the results could be.
Now it's your turn. Why do you care about money? Did your parents do anything that helped or hindered your relationship with money later in life? Please share: I'd love to hear!