Raising a Financially Savvy Child – and I am a Proud Mom!
(This was a post from September 2014 that appeared on my other blog, Starting Over … Again.)
May I just take a moment to be a proud momma, and give a shout out to my oldest daughter. I am so proud of the young woman she has become, and proud of her choices. She flew up from So Cal and came to visit the last two weeks, and while she was here we had several long talks.
OK, now I have to back up a bit to give you a few details so you will understand why I am so proud. On the way home from picking her up at the airport she informs me that the previous week she has in a car accident and totaled her car. That’s not why I was proud, by the way. She quickly explained that she didn’t want me to worry, and that’s why she didn’t tell me about it when it happened.
I informed her that was not cool.
The accident was not her fault; a distracted driver T-boned her car as she was slowing to a stop at a stop light; he was changing lanes and cutting across traffic. Idiot! Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt – her seatbelt and airbags saved her. She only had a few minor bruises from the shoulder belt and lap belt, and a slight rash on her arm from the airbag. Her Jeep Compass, which she bought new and had only had for 4 years, was smooshed.
It was very sad.
So now the insurance company sends her a check. And it’s a rather generous check, too – more than what we thought the car was worth, according to Kelly Blue Book.
So here is where my story really starts. She comes to me a few days ago and asks me what I think of buying on credit. I pause, and thoughtfully reply that I try to avoid it, and have made it my personal goal to avoid buying anything on credit anymore.
I have learned my lesson from living with her father; he was not very good at budgeting and managing credit. In our marriage, he was the spender and I was the saver. I paid all the bills and kept the finances in order. And let’s just say that he never met a credit card he didn’t like. I am not trying to be ugly here; but honestly, a lot of debt needed to be paid off when he passed away. And I am still paying off. That right there is it’s own blog post – watch for that one soon! 🙂
She was encouraged by friends to use the insurance check as a down payment on a brand new fancy car, and then finance the rest. I ask her what she thinks, and wait expectantly for her answer. And she tells me that she isn’t comfortable with buying on credit, and she wants to take the money and pay cash for a reliable used car instead. Then she asks what I think.
WHAT DO I THINK!?
I am so proud right now. It seems like most young adults her age would be wanting the fancy, bright and shiny, NEW car. But she is practical; with college debt to pay off (yes, we had a college fund set aside for her, but when my husband was diagnosed with the brain tumor and our income was cut by 2/3 we needed to dip into that to live on) she doesn’t want to saddle herself with any more debt. Plus, she and her fiancé are planning a wedding in 2015 (no date set yet) and she’d like to put some away for the wedding. AND she doesn’t want them to start out their married life together under a cloud of debt.
I have a wise 22 year old daughter?!?!?
Yup, proud momma here! 🙂
Here is a great resource for teaching kids how to handle money: