Yesterday I had a unique opportunity. I was on a bike ride with my three lovely daughters when three 10 year old boys were stopped at a stop sign, also on bikes, talking to one another. One asked me if I was who they thought I was, and when I confirmed it, they had all kinds of questions for me. For 20 minutes I visited with these nice boys and at one point, they asked me if I was rich. No, I replied, but I have very little debt.
This entered into a fairly simple conversation about debt and money. Right there at the corner I gave three 5th grade boys a lesson in basic economics. You don't have to make a lot of money to be "rich", but you have to have little or no debt in comparison to what you make. If you make a paycheck of $500 a week but you are constantly spending $600 a week, that is a plan for poverty. If you make a paycheck of $500 a week but you only spend $250 then you are on the road to being free from the bondage of debt.
They asked very good questions and I got to wondering how often parents sit down with their kids and talk money, particularly the parents money. I believe we enter into this thinking that it is taboo to talk money with even our kids, but these kids had great questions. I answered them to the best of my ability and I hope that in the long run I gave them something to think about.
Do you spend more than you make? Do you have a savings account? Are you able to tithe if you attend a place of worship? We are teaching the girls this now. When our Firstly gets her allowance of $1, the first $.10 goes into a bank for God. The next $.40 goes into her personal bank account and the final $.50 goes into her purse to spend. Our family rule is the first 10% goes to God, the next 40% goes to savings, the final 50% is spendable.
We want our girls to have a lifetime of financial freedom, and it starts by the simple plan of: spend less than you make.