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Up Close and Personal View of Different Cultures and Choices


There’s a lot of chatter about how your upbringing affects your relationship with money. Princess is taking a sociology class this summer, so we are hearing about it even more during the lectures. (She and I sit at the dining room table while we work every day so I hear a lot of her class lectures and discourse.)

We’ve recently hear lectures on class as it relates to the United States. And how a person’s class affects not only their money perceptions but also their earning potential and so on. My kids are all very belligerent at the generalizations.

Kids and Money Perceptions

As a foster family with now 12 kids through our home, we have had a very up close and personal view of how different backgrounds affect a person’s, specifically a child’s, thoughts on money. We are seeing that every day now as the kids are growing up and becoming more independent.

We are also seeing how easy it is for a young adult’s perceptions of money to change with just a little bit of exposure and education. It made me feel very proud to hear Beauty come in from a visit with her mom talking about how they discussed money and saving.

Beauty has jumped in with both feet to saving and setting goals. I’m sure part of that is having her physical needs (food, personal hygiene, etc.) met by someone else for the first time. But she’s also watched over the last 5ish weeks that she has been with us how excited the kids are every week when they put part of their pay into their savings accounts and watching it grow.

I am convinced that many young people’s failings with money are due to lack of exposure and education. I’m certainly not saying my kids are making all the right decisions. Boy, they certainly make some crazy decisions!

Kids Saving Goals

But I will say, that each of my children make informed decisions and know what each financial decision will cost them…not only in the short term but also in the long term. And they each have savings goals that really drive them…

  • History Buff is saving to move out and to take some trips with his girlfriend.
  • Sea Cadet is beginning to save for a new car (because he wants one, not because of a need) and is also looking to move out.
  • Princess is saving for college, knowing that the bulk of that expense will fall on her.
  • Gymnast is saving for a phone right now, but he still wavers on that, which is to be expected at 14.
  • Beauty is saving for a car and the fees that go along with that when she turns 18 later this year and can get her license.

As everyone in the BAD community knows, I have made some terrible financial choices along the way. But for the last several years, I have been much more transparent with my kids (age appropriate) and vocal about what certain choices have cost me/us in the long run. I hope that by doing so, they will not live in fear but will have a much more healthy view of money and the value of being financially stable, even if that means not “living large” as my 14 year old son likes to say.



One Comment

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    My experience as someone who was once young, who also raised 4 young people, is to try and expose your children to financial responsibility but don’t necessarily bank on the idea that doing so will mean they get it right. The reality is there are kids out there who grow up watching parents make mistakes and learn from that and there are kids that repeat their parents patterns and have to learn the hard way. It all depends on each individuals personality. Basically, we each learn what we want to learn when we want to learn it and no one can make us do otherwise. It’s great to see that the kids are planning ahead though and looking forward. It must be particularly satisfying to see the 2 older boys planning for the future while balancing present needs. Getting that balance right is what becomes essential to good habits.

So, what do you think ?