Open Thread: Money Money Money
What did you learn about money growing up? And what are you going to teach your kids?
Here we are again. The end of another week. The beginning of another weekend. Friday used to mean letting loose, with the potential of a weekend winding down. Post-kids, those lines are blurred, and now weekends are often more challenging than weekdays.
Well. On that feel-good note: Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who celebrate. By the time this hits your inbox, I’ll be troubling one of Barcelona’s Irish pubs for a Guinness or three. If you’re new around here, today would be the perfect day to read (or listen to) my essay inspired by Seamus Heaney’s Digging, one of Ireland’s finest writers and former English teacher to my Uncle Vincent.
Before I head to the bar, we’ve got a thread to kick off. Today I’ve got my mind on my money and my money on my mind, after my wife sent me an Instagram post with an approach to teaching your children how to be responsible with money:
Each week we give our son $5. We immediately take $1 back and place it in his taxes envelope, which we hold onto. He can choose how he divides the remaining $4, and slips the bills in one of the 3 piggy banks - save, spend, and share.
At the end of every quarter, we open the banks and count how much money we have in each. He earns 20% interest on whatever is in the “save” bank. We research charities and he donates whatever is in his “share” bank (and we match it 100%). And we make a date to visit a local toy store or bookstore for him to spend whatever was in the “spend” bank.
I read this and immediately began racking my brain for what financial education I had early in my life. Cash wasn’t always forthcoming at home, especially in my pre-teen years. Still, we’d get pocket money delivered every Saturday after the list of pre-determined chores had been checked off. I’m not sure how I’d have felt if my parents kept 20% back for the taxman—I would have had little idea of who he was, but I’d probably have developed an unhealthy level of vitriol towards him and everything he stands for. But I love the idea of parents encouraging their kids to donate to charities (with 100% matching) and to save—with 20% interest per quarter! Can I get in on that, please? The markets are dripping in chaos, with the Silicon Valley Bank fallout having painful repercussions outside of California and financial aftershocks along tech’s fault lines; piggy banks are starting to look like valid financial vehicles.
This weekend I’d love to know—what did you learn about money and finance growing up? And what are you going to try and instil in your children?
Answers to the usual address. Oh, and UK folks, in case it has slipped your mind—this Sunday is Mother’s Day! Quick. You still have time!
My parents taught me so much about money with their words and action. Moving up from a 2bedroom house on one salary to now making six figures in a much better neighborhood. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to a lot of what they said growing up. Especially about money. I’m 30 now with a wife, 3 kids and 6 months of time in the military. After 30 years of life, the highs and lows, I finally decided to take my finances into my own hands. We finally have savings account, paying down our credit cards and learning safe ways on how to invest. I would say the combination of my parent’s teachings and the military really helped us out because every time I hear advice on how to manage money, it’ll take me back to something my parents said. Now I need to teach my kids these principles but also make sure that they take action before it’s too late.
Heaney is one of Ireland’s- not merely Northern Ireland’’s - greatest living writers. Subtle but important distinction.