Ever since Jenn and I had our I Have Had Enough Moment with living paycheck-to-paycheck and B-R-O-K-E and living the three-time-loser-with-credit-cards life, we have made it a huge priority to teach our daughter about money management. It became a HUGE priority when we realized that she has inherited my "spender" genes!
In this series, I will be sharing some practical ways that we are teaching her about sound money management.
Part Three – Waiting
To put it bluntly, waiting sucks. I despise lines. I detest waiting rooms. I deplore delays. Waiting is no fun. I have routinely said, "If I had wanted patience (patients), I would have become a doctor."
Yet, it is absolutely true that patience is a virtue. If one spends money based on snap decisions without the beauty of time between the "I WANT THAT!" moment and the purchasing moment, there will be huge opportunities for regretful decisions.
There have been times that I have had our daughter leave her short-term savings at home when we go shopping. Why? Because I have observed the wishy-washy decision making that she is highly susceptible to (I've even written about it HERE). First she wants a Webkinz, then a bunny rabbit (yes a live one), then it is bunny rabbitS (plural!), then an iPod, then … Children are such a reflection of their parents. I'm sorry you have got my "spender" genes, my beautiful daughter.
By leaving her money at home, it opens the door for me to have conversation about the important financial principle of "waiting". Yes, honey, it is no fun, but just think about the fact that all of that money that you have saved for months is still safe and sound for that big purchase you are saving for. No, honey, I have not always waited and here is how I paid dearly for it …
Great conversations can be had when you just say "wait", "not now", and "later".
Here are the lessons I think are being learned or reinforced:
- Waiting is essential to excellent decision-making.
- Open lines of communication are critical. Instead of just saying "No!", we provide the opportunity to talk about why the decision has been made to wait.
- Her parents are practicing what they are preaching. By showing our daughter that we are also "waiting" on some purchase decisions, we are demonstrating that we are living this out. Now THAT will preach!
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