I got my first job the day after my 16th birthday. I did a pretty good job of saving up some money from it, which i used to buy a really awesome double-cassette deck the day after I quit that job.
I babysat. I occasionally did a chore. Very occasionally.
But mostly, I just mooched off my parents.
When I got to college, something strange happened. I would go to a place like Subway or Hardees or even the grocery store. I would ask for food, or put food in my cart, or put other things in my cart. And then if I tried to leave, some person in an ugly uniform would tell me I had to give them money. Wha???
Not long after I turned 18, a nice little envelope showed up for me from Citibank. I think you can imagine where it went from there.
Mark was raised on envelopes of a different kind. The kind that help you save and budget.
I thought that was ridiculous, but he was adamant. He taught me to only buy stuff when we actually had the money to buy it for realz.
And we’ve been really intentional about teaching the girls the importance of financial responsibility and leading by example.
- We try to teach them the danger of debt and the freedom that comes with saving.
- We try to teach them the value of money…of how to find a good deal (Mark is almost embarrassing in his mad deal skills), how to find stuff on craigslist or ebay. How to trade up and sell old electronics at the right time, so you can fund your upgrade.
- Most importantly, we are teaching them the difference between a debit card and a credit card…and how important it is to be patient, have priorities, and be careful with their spending.
We are still super-agressive about saving money. We order water when we go out to eat. Some call us cheap. Particularly our children. But as we demonstrate good stewardship of the resources we’ve been blessed with, they also see us give generously:
- They know we saved and then paid cash for two international adoptions.
- They see us tithe to church, and give to special projects.
- They see us fund mission trips, for us and for others.
- They see us sponsor kids in Mexico and India.
They are starting to see the results.
Recently, Masha got an A on her Dave Ramsey test.
She also made this comment:
“Dave Ramsey is funny and interesting…not like those other boring financial people. And I like that he’s been broke before. Like he can relate. and now he’s rich. He’s rich? right? Yeah. so, i like that.”
Kills me, that kid.
What’s the best financial lesson you’ve taught your kids? Leave a comment…