Thank you so much for all the great input here about money (in the comments). Man, there are so many great ideas out there.
Like the comments from this post about Hard Work (wow, lots of insight there), the ones from this "money" post are ones I'm going to need to refer to over and over again to get inspired. Thank you so much for adding to what I say here.
I think the bottom line about "money matters" is that sadly there is no perfect system for dealing with money. Every family is so different. Every child is so different. Every situation is so very different.
We've all had different experiences growing up. Some practically wasted away to nothingness to pay for their own college and have come away empowered and stronger because of it. Some in the same instances are probably bitter to the core because they had to scrimp by so much.
Some people got paid for helping around the house growing up, some were work-horses and still others probably had maids dusting around them as they never had to lift a finger. And because every personality is so different, each person is going to come out of their personal experiences differently.
But I believe wholeheartedly that even with all the differences in the world, teaching kids about money and how to save and work hard will always be a huge benefit.
This whole money thing has just made me realize teaching kids about money is something that has to be taught over and over again (just like my Dad went over the 10-20-70 thing like a broken record...yes, sort of annoying at the time, yet priceless in the long-run).
Money is such a huge issue. I don't want my kids going into debt. I want them to know the value of a dollar. I want them to understand the importance of savings. And I certainly don't want them to feel entitled to things they could benefit so much from earning themselves.
I also want them to have things they need. I want them to look nice and to wear decent clothes. I want them to have great opportunities and I want desperately for them to turn out differently than I did in the coordination arena (thus, sports training is a must). Of course as parents, Dave and I want to provide things for these ragamuffins we call our dear children. But we also want them to have the satisfaction of earning things. We want them to feel the joy of delayed gratification. We want them to take good care of things, and what better way to train them than to have them pay for at least part of them themselves?
It's all a balancing act.
No, there is no perfect system for money matters aside from the system that reminds us continually that we need to be aware of it. We need to re-work it according to our needs (and those of our individual children), and we need to be conscientious about saving like nobody's business.
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