Money life lessons

kids-and-sportsParenting is not easy- that is not in dispute. But keeping in mind the fact that as parents, it’s our main job to set our children up to be successful adults one day, these are crucial lessons to teach.

My current debate with my oldest is over yet another i-gadget. And although peer pressure certainly exists (when she uses the “but everyone has one” she is actually right, which is shocking to me). We are working out a compromise where she will earn half and we will supply the other. It makes me wish I had started these particular lessons earlier, where they might now be second nature.

Patience is a virtue

Don’t underestimate the challenge of this particular lesson, given the culture of immediacy that we live in and that your children will develop (or are developing) their context of everything in.

And all indications is that the speed will increase as technology improves. Remember when we waited by the actual mailbox for correspondence? Now we check our inbox and phone, and are wondering what disaster has befallen the person on the other end if they don’t respond right away.

The same philosophy extends to an attitude towards money.

Don’t delay! Buy now!

Consumers, it is not entirely our fault. Logic says, why wouldn’t you buy something and enjoy it right now instead of waiting and saving- and going for that time period without said item.

An extended period of low interest rates has provided us with unparalled opportunity to accumulate more stuff. The buy-now-pay-later mentality is not just a cultural phenomenon, for some it has become a way of handling money. Period.

The problem is that you have to pay. Eventually. And you need to break that behaviour down into a child-friendly habit in order to instill this at a young age.

Good things come to those who wait

Try to instill the relationship of value associated with either hard work (either through earning or saving or both) to link effort with reward.

You’ve got to replace that reward of immediacy with pride of accomplishment in setting a goal and achieving it. These kinds of emotional and habitual investment mirror the financial investment, which will also help boost the responsibility quotient.