I do not have kids and I don’t plan on having kids anytime soon but this week I met two of the most spoiled kids who came into my bank branch with their parents and I was so disgusted by their behaviour that I have to write about it.
In my line of work in a bank branch I do every now and then interact with high school and university students and it is honestly amazing how spoiled some kids can be. I am not saying that every teenager who I meet is financially irresponsible; I have met some fourth year university students who are very good at budgeting and saving money as they plan for the next phase of their lives. However there are also some kids who come into the bank at the beginning of the month to get the money transfers from their parents and then a few weeks later when they have spent all of the money in their bank accounts they come back to the branch to apply for a credit card. This is definitely not smart financial behaviour.
Meeting these two spoiled kids who except their parents to hand over thousands of dollars every single time they need to buy a new outfit made me think about my childhood and how I was raised. I definitely had my share of financial struggles in the past and although I feel it is a direct behaviour learned from my childhood I do not blame my parents for my financial mistakes.
Did you learn how to manage money from your parents?
Most parents want their kids to have more opportunities then they had and in my house this meant having lots of stuff. My parents grew up in big families who immigrated from Ukraine and Poland; unfortunately they did not have the same luxuries that my sister and I had when we were growing up. There is definitely an advantage of being the oldest child in a two kid family; I don’t remember ever being without anything. My parents probably made sacrifices for my sister and I to have all of the things that we wanted, but we never heard about it.
Although we appeared to always have money in my family we were also taught the value of hard work. As soon as I was 15 I started working at McDonalds and by the time I was 18 I had 2 jobs. I did not save any money; I was a teenager with no bills and no responsibility, I spent all my money on shopping and hanging out with my friends. I had enough money for my monthly bus pass in order to get to and from work and school, I had enough money to buy snacks at school and all of the new CDs that I wanted (it was the 90s).
Here are some other money lessons that I think kids should learn from their parents:
- How to calculate the value of money. If you have to work for your money you are more likely to appreciate the things it buys.
- The benefit of automatic savings as a way to force yourself to save.
- The definition of a financial emergency to ensure your savings remain saved.
- How to budget and live simply to avoid overspending and impulse purchases.
- How to use credit responsibly and not accumulate unnecessary debt.
Photo by kevindooley