Hearing things like “I want another charger for my phone” or “when are we going shopping, I need new cleats” and my personal favorite, “we should get fast food tonight” often make me cringe.
I’ll ashamedly admit that I haven’t done enough to change my kid’s Richie Rich mentality into financial reality, so when I stumbled on this Forbes article called “How to Not Raise Spoiled Children: 7 Crucial Money Lessons, a light bulb went off.
“It’s never too late to teach a child about money, especially the difference between wants vs needs.”
As the parent of a 14 year-old teenage boy in the era of instant gratification and hypersensitivity to image and style, it can be pretty challenging managing his expectations. Things are so different than when I was growing up (child of the 80’s) because there wasn’t so much pressure to look and act cool. We also didn’t have all of the super expensive electronics and other gadgets these kids today feel they’re automatically entitled to.
Worse than the expectation that something may be owned to him, is his lack of understanding on how spending money really works. When I say “I don’t have money to spend on that” he interprets this as me not having cash and will lovingly suggest that I just write a check or swiping the old debit card.
Knowing that money doesn’t magically appear in my account with a finger snap, understanding the budgeting priorities in the household and most importantly – that there’s a difference between basic needs and extras that he should be working for is key.
It’s never ever too late to start teaching him about budgeting, spending a little, saving even more and explaining the difference between wants and needs.
I’m sharing this article in hopes that it can help another parent break down the dollars and cents to their child.