I made a parenting mistake years ago that I wish I could take back.
Our sons are now 19 and 16. We own our own small plumbing business and have always eked through life with me being able to stay home with them (at my husband's insistence, long story).
We had really good times and REALLY bad times, financially. My husband works SO hard and we always manage to make payments, although maybe not big ones, on time, so that our credit stayed strong.
I always hid from the boys the fact that we were struggling at times. I never would want them to ever worry about anything. I managed to tuck away a little money here and there for a special treat, even in bad times, so they would never suspect that we were struggling. We were really living pay check to pay check, depending on the work available.
During the good times, we made sure they shared in the bounty, so to speak. One Easter, we did so well, that they each got dirt bikes. Even my husband! They all matched and it was the cutest ting ever to see them ride around. Now, it's not like we did something big like this all the time! We are actually very good with money. If the re-sell value wouldn't have been so high, they would not have been purchased, plus, they were all used.
Ok, bring us to now, when the boys are 19 and 16.
Our 19yo tried college. He was miserable. He honestly was not cut out for college, but, at least he tried. He applied for jobs everywhere while at school, and got in with FedEx. He was so pleased, and we were so proud. He is now putting school on hold and just got full time at FedEx. He gets "write-ups" for doing GOOD things and even got employee of the month after being there, just part time for 4 months! He is doing great!
He and his gf (of 2 yrs) have a tiny apartment about 40 minutes from home, close to his work. His gf got a nice job waitressing at a fancy restaurant that she can actually walk to. They are doing so good for a 19yo and 21yo (she's a little older, which, imo is good)
He came home yesterday, as he usually does on weekends (laundry lol), and we sat down with him to tell him that, since he has taken over one of our cars, he needed to handle the insurance for it. He said that that was fine, so he wrote out how much he spends for what and his face turned pale.
He pays 1/2 of rent, electric ($25 max), cable and internet, gas for the car, and his netflix. Now we added his car insurance. He was horrified to find out, that all being paid would ONLY leave him about $50 a week extra.
Really? I know so many people struggling to pay their bills, having NOTHING left for food on the table, and he's complaining about only having $50 left over each week?
Then, I started thinking. He never saw that. He never saw us scramble for that house payment. He never saw my husband up at night worrying about having the electric shut off. He never knew that I had to sometimes borrow $20 from my mom the get milk, bread and potatoes. I now wish he had seen us work through these difficult times and realized just how lucky he is!