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My youngest son recently came up to me recently and expressed his desire to be rich when he grew up.
I am pretty sure this thought process came from a recent conversation while shopping when I told him he could not get a toy he had his eye on because it was “below the line” for me. Since he hadn’t saved enough, no toy that day. He was crushed. He tried, unsuccessfully, to hold back tears as we finished our shopping. Unbeknownst to me, another shopper overheard our conversation and stopped me as I was finishing up my shopping.
“Ma’am your little boy is so adorable and it tears me up that he’s so upset about not getting his toy. Since you’re unable to afford it, would you be offended if I purchased it for him?”
“I appreciate that. I really do, but it’s not that I can’t afford it right now, it’s just not something I budgeted for for this shopping trip and I’m teaching him the importance of saving and spending his own money rather than relying on others.”
I have shared before my inspiration and motivation for my savings goals. I have been completely broke and broken before. With a child. While working a full-time job. Sounds like an oxymoron, but when you are more focused on material things, living outside your means, and the words savings and budgeting are like speaking Greek it happens.
It’s a humbling experience. It changes your perspective on so many things.
Related Article: Saving For A Rainy Day While Enjoying My Sunny Days
The pay day where I had nothing to show for the 120+ hours I had worked the previous two weeks, had no food in our home, and a not-yet-one-year-old looking to me to provide everything – I broke down. This was NOT how I was raised. These were not the life lessons my mother worked so hard to instill in me as I was growing up. She was the woman who budgeted every penny, clipped coupons, bought the off brand, and saved regularly. She learned her frugalness from her parents.
I recall the words my grandfather shared with me very early in life.
He told me not to be rich. Rich is just money. Rich is easy. Rich can change in the blink of an eye.
Being wealthy means you’re smart, educated about and work for your finances. You’re looking to keep it long-term and build on it. You are able to bless others – not just financially, but with your time and talents. You leave something for your children and your children’s children to build upon. Yeah, some serious knowledge for my elementary-school-aged mind. This is what I shared with my seven-year-old when he expressed his desire to be rich because it is those life lessons that shaped my view of finances and wealth.
Creating Our Legacy Of Wealth
It’s Okay To Wait. We live in a society where we want what we want right then right away. Waiting – delayed gratification – allows you to save and consider if the purchase is really needed and necessary.
Living A Life Based On My Budget. We don’t live beyond our means and I am teaching my children the same thing. We adjust our budget as necessary, but we have learned to appreciate what we have and realize there are a lot of things we just don’t need. Think about how many purchases you’ve made just because everyone else has it?
Entrepreneurship. Well, in Mommy’s case it’s divapreneurship! We have conversations about what entrepreneurship is and why it is important to our family. My husband and I believe in having multiple streams of income and, also, having our money work for us – not the other way around. These hands-on life lessons that my children are learning are helping to shape their work ethic and financial outlook.
Debt – It’s Not All Bad, But It’s Not All Good. I, personally, don’t have a credit card and was surprised when my three-year-old recently asked for something and said I could just “charge it”. Yes, they are learning that early! My teenager and I have begun having conversations about savings, credit, and budgeting. Part of our financial lessons is that sometimes it is okay to incur debt – our mortgage, for example. Teaching my children to be careful of the debt they incur will, hopefully, help them make wiser decisions as they get older.
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are co-founders of BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com. They wrote and directed Generation One to give African American families the tools and strategies they need to begin building wealth for their families TODAY.
I am looking forward to the release of this film and will be hosting a viewing party in my home to help facilitate not only conversation but action steps to help us all begin building our legacies of wealth. Money and finances is one of those topics that in many circles is taboo to talk about. I truly believe that having those conversations, making it comfortable to discuss our successes and shortcomings will make a difference.
The Tylers know this film has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy HERE.