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We Need to Remember Who's Watching

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 6:32 PM
  • 8 Replies
1 mom liked this
Lately a lot of posts have been about needing help in getting control of our spending, how do we break our bad habits, and one poster was upset that her parenting skills had been brought up.
I thought I'd post my "two cents". Remember this is my opinion, it's free, take it or leave it.
One - This group has been really great to come to for advice, motivation, and support. Yes, we have a few Negative Nancy's, some people who are a little more blunt than most are comfortable, and some that just need more adult interaction. But, this group is pretty great. We cheer each other on, we commiserate, and we offer advice...in ways that we have found that works for us.
What I have found that works for me is remembering this: my parents didn't talk to me about finances. They have really cruddy financial skills. None of my foster parents told me about money, although one reminded me daily that I was tolerated for the check...nice! I made some horrifically embarrassing decisions with my money. And once I got married, my husband and I struggled to find a way to make sense of our finances. And then my daughter came. And we bought anything her big brown eyes glanced at. And then my son came...and he has some health issues, so we felt like we had to buy him more stuff to compensate for his health and to show him we loved him after all the shots and poking and doctor visits.
One day we were broke, our house was in foreclosure, and I was selling plasma for gas money to get to my second job where I was a janitor, after working 9 hours as a paralegal. My daughter was up as I dragged myself into the house, and she told me she was sorry I didn't get to go "night-night" and she handed me her piggy bank "to pay the mail."
She knew.
At that moment, I realized no matter how hard I tried to shield my kids from what was going on, they knew. And I was doing nothing to show her how not to end up where I was.
Whew!! Long story!!
I've changed my habits - I talk to them, they help with the budget and they count out the cash as we pay for our purchases and they get excited when they are able to match their estimated price with the actual price.
I read this post on a blog today, and thought it might help some of you, might inspire you.

http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/07/give-them-something-great-to-imitate.html

If you made it this far - take a nap!! ;-)
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by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 6:32 PM
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Replies (1-8):
KenzieQsMommy
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:13 PM
How heartbreaking that must have been! I was that kid growing up, I had guilt about my parents finances and it wasn't like they were frivolous spenders.
I talk to my dd about money to an extent. She's only 3 but she clearly understands sh cant have everything, some things are more expensive than others and that she can do things to earn a little special toy or something small. I think that's a great start.
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moogsmom03
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:30 PM
Very true, and thanks for posting this!
mybratsmom
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM
It was!! We had already stated working on our finances and had been working through our debt, but after a major job loss (5/6 of our income!) and legal fees, we were treading water with weights. It was that moment I realized I had to talk to my kids as much as they could understand about finances.
Hindsight is always 20/20 and I just want people to learn from my mistakes...it's hard to make it out and we are very lucky we did!


Quoting KenzieQsMommy:

How heartbreaking that must have been! I was that kid growing up, I had guilt about my parents finances and it wasn't like they were frivolous spenders.

I talk to my dd about money to an extent. She's only 3 but she clearly understands sh cant have everything, some things are more expensive than others and that she can do things to earn a little special toy or something small. I think that's a great start.

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a_and_j_momma
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 1:10 AM
Thanks for posting
AshTysMom
by Member on Jul. 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Thank you for this. Similar story here, but without the unplanned income loss. We decided I would stay home, but even then with only one child we didn't see much pain in that department. Two kids later, taking over a motgage, home improvements that I didn't entirely think through budget wise, and a PCS that leaves us paying a mortgage and rent(although mortgage is mostly covered by a tenant), and I'm starting to panic a bit. It kills me I can't do more for them, and it kills me more when I lose my temper when they ask for things and fuss at them like it's their fault because I haven't done a better job of teaching them about finances. And then there's the war of heart breaking and heart soaring when they offer some of their money to pay for things. I love that they're willing, but sad they think they need to.

dalbax2
by Bronze Member on Jul. 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I knew growing up that there wasn't alot of money.  My birth father was an alcoholic who worked when he felt like it and my mother busted her ass trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.  I can remember many times going w/ her to get the commodity foods so we would have something.  I got most of my clothes from the Salvation Army as that was the best my mother could do for me.  At least I had food, clothes and shelter.

aneela
by 80sTardisGirl4Gore on Jul. 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM

very interesting article...TFS

matreshka
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM
it is very true. I grew up with parents who were frugal. dh did not. he doesn't have the restraint I have when it comes to purchasing needless things, has debt from before our marriage. he loves that I'm frugal though and loves when I get great deals on things we need.
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