My son attends a private school, and I am on one of the parents’ committees. A few nights ago, we had our first meeting, and one of the women there, Jolene, was talking about how she loves to clip coupons and cut costs whenever she can. One day she was talking to her 3rd grade son about the difference between private and public school in monetary terms. When she finished explaining, he said, “Mom, you are not making the smart money decision!” because she was opting to send him to a private school and pay rather than going for the free (except for the property taxes of course!) education. He had learned her lesson a little too well–she was teaching him it was always best to pay the rock bottom price, and he took it to heart.
My own son is creative, and I see him making plans for the multiple businesses he will run. (He is only 7, but he has big plans!) I can’t help but wonder if his plans for multiple jobs at one time is a reflection of the different side line businesses/income streams my husband and I try to manage.
However, I also see my son come home from school after a busy day and say, “I really want to go out to eat tonight.” For years when I had a particularly stressful day at my job, I would go out to eat with the family as a way to unwind and relieve stress. Unfortunately, he has learned that lesson well. Here is hoping that our lack of going out the last few months and hopefully into the future will teach him new lessons.
People always discuss the best way to teach your children about money, but it seems to me at the beginning, what you teach them is what you do. How you think about and use money, how you interact with it, is teaching your children what to think about money and how to use it. Are you behaving the way you want them to behave with money?