A couple of ten-year-old girls up the street offered to wash our cars. When asked why, they just shrugged their shoulders. One said she wanted to make more money than her father did, when he was a teenager.
Think about it: if they keep at it, by the time they graduate from college, they will have more than ten years’ experience knowing how to do a good job, satisfying customers, planning out a job, learning the value of money, budgeting personal finances, understanding the relative costs of things they buy, building solid self-confidence and self-esteem, and more.
Where will the other kids be who are graduating from college with them? Just starting out, ten years behind, with little or no experience.
What a great head-start those two girls will have in their careers and in their lives.
Have you ever noticed how many kids graduate from college and immediately try to buy a house and car as if they can afford to live like their parents?
It is parents’ responsibility to help kids understand that, starting out as young adults, they are at poverty level, not part of the middle class. It takes a few years and building your savings enough to afford a middle-class life-style. In the meantime, you scrape by paycheck to paycheck.
Training begins early: as your kids start wanting to pick out their own clothes, give them an allowance which must be earned by the completion of assigned chores. No chores, no money. No money, no new clothes.
And they will quickly learn which clothes to buy: the first time, they might buy a pair of name-brand jeans. But what happens when those get dirty? Nothing to wear! Kids quickly learn, and the next time, they buy three pairs of jeans from Wal-Mart. They learn to budget, and they learn to look for ways to earn money – both good personal traits.
Give your kids a head-start – or spoil them and leave them unprepared to be adults. It is your choice.■