My passion for this website comes from my own family’s journey. About six years ago, we struggled through some very challenging times. Much of the distress we faced evolved around finances. Discussing money is almost always a difficult, emotional subject and widely recognized as the number one reason why marriages fail and families disconnect. Yes, you have to walk the fine line of making kids aware without overburdening their childhood. However, I would encourage you not to underestimate your children and their ability or desire to be a part of the solution.
Admittedly, when we first started discussing ways to save, we were intimidated by the thought of sacrifice. What really happened is that our sacrifices were small and, in most cases, a positive change in our lives. David stepped up and offered to make pizzas. Our favorite pizza ended up being a simple creation, but he was good at it. So good, in fact, that my husband requested David replace me as head chef.
My oldest son, Brian, developed a sense of fashion his sophomore year in high school. I introduced him to second hand stores where he purchased nearly his entire wardrobe. What made this “perceived sacrifice” special was the recognition he received his senior year. From unknowing peers, he was voted, “Best Dressed.” Today, Brian is quite diligent with his finances and often shares savings ideas he’s discovered.
Looking back, I realize and appreciate the incredible opportunity placed into our lives. Our meetings have added up to substantial savings and priceless communication.
We learned how to handle our family finances by default. We did lose a lot of our “stuff”, but we didn’t lose each other. Instead, we made the decision to work through it together. We discussed ways to conserve, make choices and recognize our blessings. We talked about needs versus wants and learned how to support each other as we set financial goals. After seeing how my children respect and appreciate what they have, I am convinced that a more meaningful understanding around money not only brought perspective to our lives, it also brought a deeper commitment to our relationship with each other.