Thursday, December 01, 2005

Money Matter


Money… money... money... we all needs it. We can't live without Yet ... how many of us truly know about it? If we don't really know about it, why is that? Is it because how our parents educate us on how to manage it or lack of it?

So far, I am comfortable enough to teach my son about God; about manner; about being fair; about morals. But one thing that I am not comfortable is money. Learn on how to teach my son on what money really is and how to use it wisely.

I admit that I wasn't really good about money either... that's part of why I don't feel comfortable enough to lecturing my son about it.

It makes me feel like a hypocrite!

I’ve seen this story:

First, when the parents always tell the kids that they don’t have money (lying). Tell them on how extremely poor they are. When the kids grow up… they will have an unreasonable longing to buy and buy stuff and never let them go no matter how broken/old they become. Or they might become extremely stingy; too scared to let go of their cash. Either way, it’s bad for the children to have this kind of way of managing their money.

They become the slave of money. When the bible says we shouldn’t.

So.. how to teach children to be friend with money without falling into that trap of becoming money’s slaves? Where is the balance?

Second, I’ve heard that Jewish family taught their kids about money by showing them exactly how much money that the family has in their bank account. Then they will discuss about it. If there are people who know the best on how to manage their financial, I bet it’s Jewish. Aren’t they the one who create banking system??? I wonder if their way is right. We know after all that the fear of the unknown is always crippling us. So maybe by taking it out in the open can help us not to fear money so much? Fear of loosing money can really make people did a lot of stupid thing, like burying your money in the ground or under your pillow…. Or just leave your money in the bank and do nothing about it….

How can we teach our children to be able to see that money as a tool? Money is not a magical thing that can buy happiness through shopping spree, or a monster that can bring so much pains into their life.

What are the first steps we have to teach our children about money?

How early should we start teaching them and how honest or open should we tell them about our Financial Statement?

I still do not know the answer to all those questions above.

Right now, I think I am going to focus on teaching my son how to see the connection between money and works. I am starting to teach my son that he has to earn it. Money doesn’t grow on trees that sort of thing.

On his fifth birthday, my aunt gave him a piggy bank. A great idea and I am still thankful for her for giving him this gift.

I have seen that children can learn fast about money can buy things that normally their parents won’t buy for them. Without proper guidance, they can steal. Some parents think that when kids took a penny here and there to buy candy is funny. I don’t. In my opinion stealing is stealing.

So since beginning I told my son that he can’t just take coins from the table and put them into his piggy bank without asking us first, because that’s call stealing. He is welcome to ask us for the money off course. He does this a lot and every time I always asked him “What can you do for me to earn this money? “ Then we start bargaining on the terms. What ever money that he put into his piggy bank, he earns it. It’s completely his money. Some time I do give him rewards in the form of money. But I always tell him that this is a privilege and I don’t want him to think that he always deserve it.

I am scared of raising my children to be parasites to their family or to the society.

Money can be evil in this thing. Many families are being destroyed because of money matters.

I don’t like people who think just because their family/friends help them by giving/loan them money and they think they deserve it just because they are family or good friend. I don’t want my children to be like that. To be ungrateful and always thinking that they deserve it when they don’t even earn it. People like these will bring a lot of pains to the people who know them.

One time, my husband gave my son $ 10 bill. It’s a lot of money for 5 years old. I am fine with that because I think we need to be comfortable holding money. Not to fear them. How many of us say “I never hold this much of cash before! “Or “I don’t know what to do with all my money! “ I think the more comfortable we are with holding large amount of cash, the more we will know what to do with them.

That $ 10 bill that my husband gave to my son is a gift to buy a toy. So I took my son to Toy R Us. Then I tell him that he has 3 choices on what to do with the money. First he can spend it all. Second, he can spend part of it and keep the rest in his piggy bank. Third, he can keep it all in his piggy bank. He chose the second choice. He bought a four dollars toy and keeps the change in his piggy bank. I think he choose wisely.

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