As part of Financial Literacy Month (#FLM2018), I’m featuring guest posts and interviews on the topic all month long. Please welcome Ruth from Prudence Debt – Free.
- DH = dear husband
- DD1 = dear first daughter
- DD2 = dear second daughter
- DD3 = dear third daughter
I wasn’t a “teachable” teen
Sometimes I read parenting articles that offer pointers on teaching teens about financial management – and I find myself shaking my head. I’m not convinced that good financial management can be “taught” in a linear, rational way to teens – at least not all of them.
Take me, for example. Wind the clock back a few decades, and see me as a teen, begging my parents for yet another advance on my monthly allowance. With every hesitation on their part, with every effort to explain to me that I needed to be more careful about how I spent the money, my begging would escalate – to whining, to exasperation, to wounded anger.
Every time I succeeded. I got my advance – which once again I spent too quickly. Rinse repeat.
In managing their own finances, my parents were excellent. One income, 5 kids, used cars purchased with cash, mortgage paid off, generous giving, frugal living, wise investing. It’s commonly accepted that we learn by example. But I didn’t.
I remember the messages my parents communicated about finances – that money didn’t buy happiness; that materialism was wasteful and shallow; that needs could be met frugally – but for some reason, my compulsion was to rebel against them.