After a conversation with my children, I made sure I covered all the money matters. I talked about the budget of the house, about the importance of saving, I even commented on more complex issues, like why we invested because we made some financial decisions. Anyway, I approached so many subjects, but I knew that I was forgetting one. Not exactly forgetting, he would rather omit, not go into that. It was about everything that involved numbers: prices, wages, costs.
I believe that I am the only father who does this. Let’s say your kids know you’re buying a new car. You probably would not tell me how much it cost you. After all, they could talk to neighbors and friends, and you do not want that to happen. Fortunately, my experience as a parent will help you have better conversations with your kids, your spouse, or anyone else you share your financial decisions with.
1) Do not hide the numbers
One Saturday afternoon I decided to visit the boat shop that was close to home. The decision was not as sudden as it sounds. In fact, after telling me that they were about to sail that I had in my youth, I was more and more sure that having a boat again would be a great choice to relive those moments.
Inside the shop, it was impossible to disguise his fascination. But from the moment I asked how much the boat I was going to buy cost, I suddenly found myself in a great dilemma. Not only did I hide the price, but I also made the mistake by playing tricks on him: “It costs fifty-four to four times a thousand.”
At that time I should have shown my and the price and explained: 1) why a boat costs all this; 2) why I think it’s worth all that money; and 3) how we have saved over the years to be able to afford it.
In short, I could put the decision into context, which would help my child understand these three points raised.
2) Do not assume that your child thinks the same as you do
One of the best parts of being a parent is watching your child make some decisions and try new things. In one of these sudden desires, so common in childhood, my daughter decided to join the club’s football team. After a few months of much training, the opportunity arose for his team to travel to the state championship. Behold, after the first meeting of the trip, our daughter returns home with the exciting news that the five-day package would come out only R $ 5,000.00.
After seeing our reaction of astonishment, she quickly told us that this amount would include the uniform, transportation, accommodation and food. Anyway, for her this high value would be worth with so much included in the package.
For us parents, this disconnect happened not because we were a family that spent a lot of money, or that our children did not know the value of money. But in that case we had never given them a point of reference. Whether or not R $ 5,000.00 is not a very familiar amount for a child or because she has never traveled with a group before, there were no parameters to understand that value made in sense.
As we imagined, our daughter was wrong. The $ 5,000 would be to cover the entire team’s budget. The cost per player was about 1/10 of that number. Anyway, but that scare we made it perfectly clear to us that we had a lesson to learn.
I want each of them to know how much each thing costs
So the next time you’re talking to your kids, husband or anyone else about money, make sure you’re talking the same thing. Do not avoid talking about numbers. And please, do not make the mistake I made, of not having a conversation that is more specific. From these experiences, I am convinced that there would be fewer questions about money in our family if we had cared less about what others think about our family.
Now, I want each of them to know how much each thing costs, to weigh the pros and cons of buying this or that. I want my children to understand exactly how much $ 5,000.00 means to make a fair judgment about the price of something and what they are getting in return. And, most importantly, I do not want my discomfort to prevent my children from having the information and skills they need to make smart financial decisions.