Monday, December 30, 2013

{A Better 2014} Teaching My Kids About Money.

I was lucky enough to be raised by extremely thrifty parents. I'm pretty sure I never said thank you to them for that.

Oh, it didn't feel fortunate at the time, when I was the last one of my friends to get Kaepa shoes and real Jams, and my dad was dropping me off at Moore Middle School in a 1973 {paid for, immaculate, with only a handful of miles on it} 42-foot-long Oldsmobile Delta 88 land yacht {it had been my grandmother's, who only drove it four miles a week...}. Talk about MORTIFYING... And then I got to high school and he traded the Oldsmobile for a 1980 Ford truck (sort of like this, but uglier) that was even worse {I still remember the rattle sound it made when he pulled up to the high school in it to pick me up}...  No, I never said thank you for that.

It wasn't until middle school that I realized my parents' penchant for driving really embarrassing cars; all through elementary school it never occurred to me to compare cars or shoes or logos on a shirt with anyone else, but had I known, I would have realized the family principle: we don't have car payments in our family.  

Yes, I HATED their thriftiness many, many times, especially living in this wealthy, sometimes-sort-of-snooty town where a huge percentage of kids get brand new cars for their 16th birthday {some of them BMWs and Corvettes... }. *I got a 1983 Cutlass Supreme {paid for, with cash} when I was 16, and I knew I was darn lucky to get it.

And then I got to college and suddenly I felt like the rich kid. I had a 3-year-old 1988 Cutlass Calais {WITH a huge bag phone, ahem} by then; many of my friends didn't even HAVE a car. And I was able, thanks to my parents' thriftiness, to go to college debt-free, loan-free, job-free... lots of my friends had to work; I did not. I started being a little more grateful that my parents had been so thrifty when I was younger so that they could afford to send me to college, and let me live so comfortably while doing so.


Then I graduated and got my first apartment, and I remember stern lectures from my dad about avoiding ALL debt, saving money, and tithing... I had been taught since childhood to do ALL of those things. I remember my dad telling me that I was about to learn some hard lessons about how every time I turned on a curling iron, it would cost me .25, and every time I left a light on, it would cost me $1, then getting some smug satisfaction out of me sweating in the dark in my apartment, which would be 104* because I was scared to turn on the a/c for fear of high electric bills. See? I had learned... 

ALL that to say... my friends and I are 40 now, and some of them (most, I daresay...) are STILL paying on those 20-year-old student loans. I never had a student loan. 

Most of my generation is deep in debt. 

Most people don't tithe.

Most people think they can't live without a car payment. 

Most people have way more house than they need or can afford.

I don't have it all together by ANY means, but I HAVE tried to make a lifelong habit out of following my parents' money principles: tithe, give, save, and avoid debt at all costs. 

And these are all habits that I want to teach my OWN kids.

One of whom is in middle school, and thinks she NEEDS Ugg boots and a North Face Jacket, and may be just a little mortified to be dropped off at the middle school in my eight-year-old {paid for, immaculate, hand-me-down from her grandmother} vehicle. I don't know; I haven't asked her. Not that it will matter; it will be a great opportunity to build character, and give her something to blog about when she's trying to teach her OWN kids about money.

So since I've never said it before, THANK YOU, mom and dad, for teaching me that I could survive without the latest pricey status symbols, and we won't die if we drive older paid-for vehicles, and to tithe, and to avoid debt. 

You have made my life SO much easier because of it. 

And I want to pass along these good money habits to my OWN kids. I don't WANT them saddled with debt right out of college; I don't want them struggling with more mortgage than they need; I don't want them burdened with ginormous car payments for a stupid vehicle that depreciates by 40% the minute you drive it off the lot. I don't want ANY of that for them. 

And beyond basic financial stability and security, I want them to be grateful and not materialistic, and to be joyful givers.

So where do we start, teaching our kids good money habits? 

I just read this post and this post and was inspired, and promptly ordered this book from Amazon

I'm a huge fan of Mary Hunt and have read many of her books; also, Dave Ramsey is the bomb. And Larry Burkett

All of those people offer sound, Biblically-based money advice. (I have several good 'money' books listed here). 

I'm not sure what it means for my kids, but I've added this to my list of Things I Want to do Better in 2014 and will be digging into Mary Hunt's good financial advice soon.

Wanna join me?

If you liked this post PLEASE share it with your friends! ~ Melissa Beene Taylor *Oh, and several of those links above are affiliate links. You don't have to order through my links, and it doesn't cost you anything, but does benefit me if and when you do. Thanks! :)
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