The Parent Bloggers Network has teamed up with the folks at Capital One to get the word out about how parents (like me) are talking to kids about budgeting and finances.
Capital One and national consumer advocacy group Consumer Action sponsor the Moneywi$e eLearning tool, which includes a section all about talking to kids about money.
Or, not -- because, my parents never "talked" to me about financial responsibility and I turned out okay, sort of.
I, on the other hand, hated my funny-sounding last name (yes, I feel very ashamed whenever I admit it, out loud) not to mention, being teased for wearing "Shoprite specials," instead of more popular brands (like, Adidas or Puma) that all the "cool kids" were wearing back-to-school.
Would I have I felt differently, if my parents sat us down and said:
"We're broke and, if it wasn't for your grandmother, you wouldn't be wearing any sneakers, period."
Thinking back on it now, I feel it safe to say, probably not.
"Kids should never have to worry about money."
Because, even though my parents STILL insist there are certain things that you just don't discuss with your children, kids have this funny way of picking up on this sort of stuff, anyway.
"Didn't you want to go to college, Mommy?"
Of course I did -- although, my guidance counselor thought perhaps I would make a great secretary, or something -- but, my brother was enlisted in the Army and, well, my folks were seriously in debt, up to their eyeballs, already.
Guilt runs deep in Hungarians, too.
"Yeah, but I wanted to start earning some money, right away."
I still remember the excitement of receiving my first paycheck and spending it all on my parents.
"I bought Mama a name necklace and Papa a clock radio."
Today, I believe the best way my husband, Garth [not his real name] and I can "talk" to our children about money is by "doing" exactly what both our parents did, or didn't do.
So, we head straight for the clearance racks, first...make our kids put half of whatever money they receive (i.e. birthday, holidays, etc...) in the bank...and not feel ashamed to admit that they may just have to "work" their way through college.
"Just take the check and shut up about it, already."
Because, they know, that if it weren't for their grandparents, they wouldn't be wearing sneakers, anyway and that my parents seemed to have done just fine, with me, speaking a little funny, like they do and all.
"It's for the kids back-to-school shopping, not you!"
Or, maybe not.
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