Let’s get right to the point. How is your relationship with your finances? What bad habits are you modeling with your kids? I know this is a personal question but it needs to be asked.
My son Connor asked for a new hockey stick recently and I had to say “no” to him. That hurt because I did not have the money. The reason why I did not have the money was because I had to come up with $300.00 to pay for his hockey team fees. That was just half of what I still owed since October. If I was not able to come up with the first $300 then unbeknownst to my son he would of not been able to play until I had the money.
That is not fair to him.
This past year I pawned my bike (I very much liked that bike) to pay a couple of bills. They would not take my golf clubs.
My son is not stupid, he knows his dad is struggling. This was a cause of what you might of gone through and that is loosing a job.
When you think of the word “money” what image first comes to your mind? Do you get a happy thought? Does your image have a sad feeling?
My relationship with money has really never been good. The follow your “passion” is what I do. For 10 years I worked in radio and made very little money (but I have a kick ass CD collection). Zero regrets with that path.
My wish for not just my son but my two bonus daughters is to show them to have a healthy relationship with money. For example: showing them what apps or websites we use to help when it comes to budgeting. The hockey team fee was actually in the budget so my wife Ann and I knew that as we did our monthly numbers.
What is your relationship with your spouse when it comes to money?
Is there one person who handles all the money? If that is the situation do you ever have family meetings about the finances?
Both my wife Ann and I came from previous marriages where not only did we not have a say when it came to money but very much left out in the dark.
Did your parents teach you about how to handle money? Mine neither.
This is where we parents need to really step up.
Through our church my wife and I took a two month class about household budgeting. At first the information that we received was well just information. We did not really execute much effort. Then as we started to get closer to the holidays that became a reality. We open up my laptop and went on the website that the class was based off of and started to work on out budgets.
We are still not perfect and we have come close to ending our marriage because of money or the lack of it (did I mention that I was out of work?).
Your relationship with your partner is as important as it is with the health of your finances. Take the time to sit down and have those difficult talks about money. Yes they can be very difficult, trust me on this one.
If you do not know how to create budgets then ask for help.
Teach your kids how to budget. One way is to get a three ring binder. In the binder get 4 pouch inserts and label them:
- Pouch 1 “tithing”
- Pouch 2 “short term goals”
- Pouch 3 “long term goals”
- Pouch 4 “fun money”
The way this works is simple; when ever the kids get cash they will put all of the cash in each pouch. As a family you figure out what percentage each pouch will be. The “long term” pouch could be a higher percentage then the “fun money.” This could be a fun exercise at teaching about what money means to the kids. Yes their money should work for them. The long term goal could be something like a car or the first three months of rent when they move out )wink, wink).
You can only hope the kids will establish a healthy relationship with money. Not the fear of the phone ringing knowing it is a “bill collector.”
My recommendation for the adults of not just blended families but couples in general is to have one bank. For about two years into our marriage we had different backs. This was insane. Having all of your money under one roof is a better option. We also utilize a local credit union for our savings.
Having just one bank is key in the relationship because this is a sign of trust, there is no hiding of funds.
Listen, I am still learning my communication skills when it comes to Ann when we have our weekly budget meetings. I would rather have an enema then sit and talk about how broke we are each week and yes we are not going to be in this situation forever. This shows that I do not have a healthy relationship with money.
This also works when I have to look Connor in the eye and tell him that there was not enough money in the budget for a stick. However, let me see if I can put it in the budget for next month. Then again if he would shovel more driveways he could buy his own stick.
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