One thing I’ve learned about having kids is that it forces you to look at your own short comings, what important lessons you’ve learned in life that you want to share with your children and hope that they can learn from them too.
One of my biggest short comings are my financial habits.
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important”
Former President Dwight Eisenhower
I’m a spender and saving has always been a struggle for me. Since hitting 30 and realizing I had no major savings or any plans for retirement, one of my biggest goals for 2017 was to get my finances in order and begin to save for things like vacations and retirements. After realizing what a mess my finances actually were and the work it was going to take to get them back in order, I realized that this was something I never wanted my kids to go through. I wanted to instill in them good financial habits; like the importance of saving and compound interest as well as how to spend their money wisely.
In order to clean up finances I’ve been reading a lot of financial books. Recently I read Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, & Keep More of What You Make by Carrie Rocha and it was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down (that’s saying a lot for me because financial books can be quite dry).
“Victorious living does not mean freedom from temptation”
E. Stanley Jones
The biggest focus of this book is all about your attitude towards money and finances and how to change these attitudes from negative and self-sabotaging to positive and self-serving. It was as if this book was written specifically for me. The two biggest attitude changes for me came with these two phrases that I say to myself constantly: “I can’t afford it” and “I deserve a treat”.
Rocha gives excellent advice on changing these attitudes and shaping new ones. With your biggest tool being your own willpower and how to exercise it.
I’ve begun to pass on what I’m learning about making wise financial decisions and saving onto my kids. E is too young to understand but J is a great age to start earning an allowance and understanding the basics of saving vs. spending. He gets an allowance every two weeks and half is put into his savings and half is put into his wallet for him to spend on whatever he would like… within reason. Its also a good lesson for him to start to comprehend how far his dollar can go and what tasks he has to do in order to earn his money.
I have a long way to go with my own finances but I hope I can impart some of the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes onto my children. By far the biggest financial lesson I’ve learned is that its not how much money you earn its what you do with it.