I had an epiphany this week: Kidlets just cost way too much money. Did I cost this much as a kid? I don’t remember but surely I didn’t have the $$$$ price-tag that seems to have come entangled in and around the Kidlets’ little fingers.
Yes, there were piano lessons and a saxophone and art camp . . . and new shoes every time my mom blinked (and, by the way, thank you, German Great-Grandma, for your ginormous foot gene). But surely I wasn’t as expensive as Kidlets now???
Every time *I* turn around, I find myself spending more and more money: school clothes, preschool, diaper, food, food, and more food.
(these little people eat and drink a LOT . . . this morning, Mr. Boy had THREE breakfasts. Three. Oy.)
And, every time I blink, I see dollar signs floating in the Kidlets’ eyes thanks to the child-centric marketing that is EVERYWHERE. The radio, the iPad, the TV, everything offers something, some gadget or toy or book or article of clothing. Something that the Kidlets suddenly must HAVE.
Right now, the Little Lady is ENAMORED with the American Girl Dolls. In. Love. Wants, needs and covets those dolls. Can’t live without one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(exclamation points courtesy of the Little Lady’s dramatic, hands waving in the air, hair being tossed to and fro soliloquy BEGGING for one of the dolls)
I realize my children are only 1, 3, and 5, but the fact that they have no concept of money is really starting to get on my nerves.
Yes, I said it: getting on my nerves.
And . . . freaking me out.
If my children are this spend-happy, not naturally inclined to save their pennies, eager to plunk money down for every glittery bauble someone dangles before them, how will they approach money when they are adults?
- I am worried they will be swallowed by credit card debt — the monster eating most adults in today’s world.
- I am worried they won’t understand how to save money or budget.
- I am worried they won’t understand the value of a dollar.
- I am worried they will follow in my shoes.
Yeah — I was one of those kids who didn’t understand money . . . a young adult who spent a dollar as soon as she earned it . . . a college student who got in deep with credit cards. A girl who didn’t want to think about money.
This cannot be the legacy I leave for my children: spendthrift ways leading them to ruin.
It took years of work (and a financial savvy husband) to help ME change my mindset and begin to understand that the financial world is my world and that it has to be my world. You can’t swipe a card and ignore the fact you owe money. You can’t live in the red ink on a budgeting page. Homeownership, planning for retirement, understanding our investments, budgeting for long-term care . . . I can’t turn a blind eye to any of it.
And, likewise, I can’t turn a blind eye to my children’s financial education. Taking the time now to teach my children financial responsibility will give them to the key to escaping the yoke of debt.
disclosure: this post was inspired by Genworth Financial. All opinions, experiences shared, and words in this post are my own.