Finding Freedom

How quickly can a fool find his money again?

I currently have a whole bunch of debt. Hmm...I wonder how much I could get for my kidneys?
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Thursday, July 13, 2006
A New Challenge
Actively trying to save money is a new challenge for me.

When I was growing up, the only thing that my mom wanted me to pay for was summer camp. With my attitude being, "So, you want me to pay to go to a place where I don't know anyone when I can just stay at home and watch Nick Jr. for free? Yeah, I'll get right on that," I ended up just staying at home.

My girlfriend and I have talked many times about the various ways that we are considering training our eventual children about money.

One way that we think would be good for teenagers is to, once a quarter or so, give them a lump sum of money in exchange for various chores. We would have them then use a percentage of that money for rent (to make them get used to it), a percentage for charitable giving, a percentage for savings, and so on. The catch would understandably be that they wouldn't receive any more money until next quarter.

I like this idea because I think that it would have worked well for me. While my parents did teach me some things about money, I wish that they would have shown me more. One technique that my mother used, which I'm sure was well-intentioned, was to write on my savings account statements the words "Free Money!" next to the interest earned column. The problem was that as a child, the prospect of earning ten or fifteen cents for free was not nearly as enticing as having a new book or magazine. Further, I didn't understand savings because it seemed like I always had to put stuff in, but I couldn't ever take it out. What's up with that?

My problem up until this point is that I oftentimes still had the same mindset that I did as a child, and this is how I came to have this outrageous amount of debt. I would go into a store and think, "Well, I don't have enough in my checking account for that book, but I do have enough on my credit card. Why not? They say you can use credit for investments, and this is an investment for my mind!"

I'm doing a little bit better in this regard now, and the act of thinking up ways to train my eventual kids is a terrific exercise for me to figure out how to train myself so that I can eventually find freedom. Every day is a new opportunity to re-invent how I respond to money; let's hope that I keep re-inventing myself correctly in this new challenge.
posted by shamedsteven @ 11:37 AM  
  • At 6:35 AM, Blogger collegesaver said…

    I think the lump sum idea would be good but wouldn't it also be a good idea to give more money for doing extra chores? This way you can show that working hard has its rewards. Maybe you can alternate the different approaches so you can teach your future kids the different lessons about money. ^_^

  • At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Mike said…

    Making kids save for college is a hugely important one. I started saving for college on my own when I got my first job at age 15. Half of each of my paychecks went into a college savings account that was a joint account and I could not withdrawal money from without my parents. This prevented me from spending any of that money, and made it so I had money to use twoards tuition when the first big bill came

  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Miss Money said…

    If I only knew now what I knew then……. Know one ever told me that starting at age 25 if I saved $65 a month by age 65 I’d have a million dollars. And know one ever really taught me the importance or the principle of savings. Really, if I had to choose what my parents taught me about money—how to save it, how to make it or how to spend it—I’d probably have to say, what they taught me the most is how to spend money.

    For many preteens and teens today, although bright, educated and smart, they fail when it comes to basic, simple money management skills. 4 out of 5 teenagers can not tell you what goes on inside a bank. And 73% didn’t know that a stock would yield more over time than a savings account, according to Jump $tart. Why? Because finance and money management are not being taught in schools or is just now starting to be taught in certain areas of the country in high schools. Plus, high schools are experiencing the largest dropout rate in their history—1 dropout every 7 seconds or 1 million drop outs in 2005. Plus, a minimum wage increase has just been turned down and wage stagnation is at its worst in 30 years.

    If you don’t take the time to teach your children the principles of money NO ONE ELSE WILL! MoneyMoney101 for preteens and teens is coming! Stay tuned.

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Name: Steven shamedsteven
Home: San Diego
About Me: Well, boys and girls, I, like a whole bunch of other people, made a series of "conscious, deliberate mistakes" and have ended up with a buttload of debt. What is chronicled here are some musings about the journey out.
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