What do we really teach our kids about money?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by eliza61, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    This question has been bouncing around with me for a while. A lot of us here on the budget board complain about folks walking around with "entitlement" issues but personally I always think it's a monster we created. :lmao:

    I mentor 18-19 year old girls in the Philly/NJ area. These girls come from solid middle class average families. Let me tell you about the average girl

    1) every last one of them has some type of designer bag (coach, louie, fendi)
    2) every last one of them has the latest cell phone. I've met a number of their parents who then complain about $200 bills but when you suggest they cut the phone off, you always get the ridiculous excuse "they need it for emergencies". Honey, 200 bucks did not come from an emergency.
    3) all of them spend weekends at the Jersey shore for recreation.
    4) not one has a job
    5) All or most routinely get nails done and don't get me started on proms and senior trips.
    6) quite a few have credit cards.

    Now if this is the average american teen, do we really expect them to morph into young adults who will "wait" to earn luxuries? Are we really shocked when they buy a $200K "starter" home?

    I just don't understand why we are so shocked?
  2. Minnie_me

    Minnie_me DIS Veteran

    Feb 19, 2007
    I'll second that. My 16-year old niece got a brand new Honda Accord for her birthday, and doesn't even have her permit yet! Or a job! :confused3 It was just handed to her.

    She also has all of the designer things and cell phone you mention. She has absolutely no responsibility whatsoever.
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  4. mommyof2princesses

    mommyof2princesses Being mom to 2 princessess is a lot of work!

    Aug 31, 2006
    I try and teach my girls about money. My oldest, who will be 15 next month, makes money babysitting and dog sitting. We do not pay for her clothes or other items she wants, she has to save up for it. And she does a great job. Has bought her own laptop, her own clothes, her own shoes, and lots of itune songs (nana and papa got her the ipod for her birthday). And she still has a nice savings account. I sometimes joke to her that I may need to borrow money! :lmao:

    I know some people who are the same as we are, but know many more that aren't.
  5. Sandi

    Sandi A proud Spartans fan.

    Aug 17, 1999
    I think a lot of the "monsters" have been created by parents who aren't thinking straight or long term, but I do not believe these are the "average" teen in America. My DD15 is an only child who we could give everything, but we don't. DH and I grew up in middle class homes with parents who worked hard and gave us good work ethics and a sense of family. We're passing this on to our child. I feel sorry for the children who are handed everything. When the handouts stop, they are going to hurt.
  6. Plannin'Shannon

    Plannin'Shannon No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep

    Aug 24, 2009
    I'm a 21-year-old only child, and I'm proud to say my parents raised me as you are raising your daughter. I've had a steady job since I was 16, and have earned everything I have. Unfortunately, I can only name one other person my age who had this same upbringing. Everyone else I know gets everything handed to them. It always makes me wonder how they will survive when Mommy and Daddy aren't around to pay for it all.
  7. weewuvvdisney

    weewuvvdisney DIS Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    I couldn't imagine bringing up a dd with a sense of entitlement.

    Sure, she has a cell phone. She takes public transportation to go to high school. Two buses or buses and subway. She turns her cell on when she leaves in the morning and turns it off when she it is school. Again, she turns it on while she in on her way home. Once she is home, it is off for good. If her friends want to call us they need to use our landline. Oh by the way, it is my cellphone that she is using and we have cancelled the texting of it cuz of her friends who started to text all the time.

    She is 14 so doesn't work yet but does receive a $10.00 a week allowance. If she wants to buy her lunch at school or go for a hot chocolate after school, she uses her money. Also, out of her allowance - she puts a $1.00 away for Church, a $1.00 for savings and a $1.00 for her bank account. She hasn't asked us for movie money or such for quite a while. If she goes out with us, we pay. She is learning to save her money for the things that she wants.

    We have a computer, she has a DS and ipod which were gifts. We don't have cable and we survive.

    We do lots of free things as a family.

    We don't have a car but we do travel on vacations - can't have everything.
  8. Goofy'slady

    Goofy'slady When Life Gives You Lemons - SHOP!

    Jul 31, 2006
    Our children are a reflection of who we are ourselves. I bet you any amount of money that those teens you're talking about live mirror images to that of their parents. Mom spends tons of time making weekly nail appointments and arrangements for the beach house on the 'Shore' on her expensive cell phone with the monthly bill of 200.00 then chances are her daughter(s) will expect and do the same. Only difference between the two are that mom/dad worked in order to get those things but even with that said do you always have to get the latest and the greatest every time the hit the shelves so to speak? If the answer is 'yes' then as our kids get older they will in turn do likewise.

    My husband and I both work and bring home a fairly decent salary (or what we consider decent, lol) and we have no problem sharing some things with our kids, but those things never take the place of a life lesson. First, you want that Ipod? I don't have a problem in paying for half and you work and save for the other half to buy it whether it's saving b-day or holiday money or if you're old enough use your the wages from a summer job to pay for it. You're 17 and you want a car? it will be used and you'll work to pay for the gas, insurance and basic up keep. That expensive senior trip all your friends are going on that you HAVE to go on as well...well then you can pay for your prom yourself -we're not paying for both.

    If you start teaching your kids at a young age about being responsible with money, working hard for it, knowing the value of a dollar and how to prepare for the unexpected then those building blocks will travel with them for life.

  9. Purseval

    Purseval DIS Veteran

    Jul 31, 2008
  10. Kitzka

    Kitzka DIS Veteran

    Aug 8, 2006
    Growing up I was given PLENTY by my parents. And I mean luxuries. I got a coach purse at 15, for my 16th birthday I got a diamond ring and for my 17th I got a 2 year old car. BUT I did not get an allowance and my parents did not pay for any of my extras such as clothes, going to movies with friends, trips to the mall etc. I babysat about 20 hours a week and used that money for clothing, fun etc. I had a 3.9 GPA, took AP classes, took classes at the local college (to earn college credit before i went to college at a fraction of the cost) and was a good kid. In addition to this when i turned 16 i also got a job where i worked another 15 hours a week.

    So, i am sure my classmates and their parents viewed me as a spoiled 'entitled' teen when in actuality i was working very hard for my money and my parents only 'spoiled' me at my birthday and christmas.

    MY DD is 11 and recieves a lot but she knows DH and I expect her to maintain her grades and to get a job when she is old enough.

    I can't understand the folks who don't want their kids to work while they are 'young.' I learned how to balance my life, work, school, friends etc because at 16 i was babysitting, working partime, hanging out with my friends and going to school. But this was part of my life education. How was i to learn how to balance my marriage, raising a child, work, friends, volunteer work etc if i didnt start when I was 16 and had no real cares in the world?

    Part of the problem too is that kids these days are exposed to so much more. when i was 11 i wasnt exposed to so much on tv or the radio telling me that if i didn;t have this or that then i wasn;t the best or wasnt the coolest.

  11. Aisling

    Aisling <font color=darkorchid>Where your mind goes, your

    Sep 17, 2002
    I married into a family with money [both inlaws are doctors] and my DH has a great job, whereas my mom and dad struggled financially until they achieved success later in life, so my kids got everything they wanted. What a mistake on my part. They are spoiled young adults now. But I'm in the process of retraining them about the value of a dollar. Totally my fault.
  12. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2002
    I don't disagree with you in theory, but I see some differences in details here in the Carolinas:

    Designer bags aren't all that big. Yes, maybe 1/3 of the girls have them, but it's not a must-have here.

    Latest cell phone -- absolutely! This is the #1 thing my students care about.

    For our kids, it's Myrtle Beach, and I'm amazed at how many are allowed to go with groups of friends. And I don't mean only the just-graduated seniors.

    Most of my students (probably 2/3 of them) DO have jobs; however, it's a double-edged sword. They work 10-15 hours a week, and in my immediate area low-level jobs are plentiful and most jobs -- even fast food -- pay more than minimum wage. That's an awful lot of cash IF you live at home, have all your needs paid, and your own earnings are all just disposable income. I'm quite convinced that kids who are not required to save a portion of their income come away with an unintended message: They come away believing that they're "supporting themselves" and they have got adult life figured out. They figure that they're entitled not to listen to their parents, and some even minimize their need to continue with school (I remember one student telling me that he KNEW he was making as much money delivering pizzas as I make teaching school. completely failing to understand the importance of benefits and an increasing salary scale -- wonder how he's doing today, 5-6 years later?). They completely fail to recognize that they're really just paying their own movie tickets, meals out with friends, and clothes.

    Prom dresses, credit cards . . . I agree -- don't get me started. I'd say my students spend more on hair than nails. And don't forget the gotta-have-a-tattoo the day I turn 18 (how else would people KNOW you'd turned 18?).

    Also don't forget cars. Most of my daughter's friends seem to be GIVEN a car BEFORE they turn 16. They're not all new; in fact, it seems that most of the time the parents give the child their own 2-3 year old car, and they themselves get something new. I'd estimate that half my students are required to pay something towards their transportation costs, but it's a rare student who pays the whole cost.

    The biggest car shock for me: When these kids wreck their cars -- an event that happens all too often when someone too young and inexperienced is allowed too much freedom -- their parents buy them another car right away!
    Eh . . . most of the time. When I meet an "entitled" student's parents, it seems that 3/4 of them fit the bill you're describing -- a mom who's all about looks, name brands, etc. (Or a dad who drives a car that's beyond his income level and who enjoys lots of "toys". Being a mom of girls, I tend to think of girl-stuff first, but I've seen it go both ways.)

    The other 1/4 of the entitled students seem to come from the "never had" parents who want to give their kids what they never had -- even if they have to beg, borrow, and steal to do it. Or the parents who figure they owe it to their kids to give them these few great teen years (so they can catch a husband) before they start slaving away in the mills. These parents come in to school wearing sweat pants or denim shorts, often looking old and weathered beyond their years, often in need of dental work -- but sitting right beside them is a cute little 15-year old with professional highlights in her hair and manicured nails. These kids are some of the most difficult in the school, figuring that they're "so much better" than their parents, and they must be "so much better" than everyone else too.

    All in all, I agree with the OP's post -- too many kids are given too much and allowed to get away with accomplishing too little. Individually we can fight this trend in our own homes, but it's hard with society as a whole leaning this direction.
  13. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    I got my wake up call a few summers ago. My 15 yo son has really bad asthma, one day 3 summers ago he suffered a severe attack, I mean a "in the hospital for days" episode. Well when he finally started to improve, I was sitting in his room and I mentioned that we were not going to disneyworld that August. We are dvc members and he was used to going ever year. Dh and I make it a point to remind them how fortunate they are to be able to do this, evidently that message did not sink in.

    Anyway, the boy got a serious attitude "sucking teeth, rolling eyes, snippy tone" works. Now I'm thinking, here I was praying to every God known to man 2 days ago because I'm thinking I'm going to lose you and you've got the nerve to give me grief because you can't go to Disneyworld? :mad:

    Time for the intervention. :goodvibes
  14. MinnieForMe

    MinnieForMe DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2007
    My 12 year old already knows how to CVS and roll catalina's. LOL.

    My 4 year old is the cutest. She'll ask for something I'll say "no" and without missing a beat she'll say "it's not on sale?"

    I'm also honest with them about where the money from the ATM comes from (no, it's not a magic money making box) and that we only charge what we can pay off at the end of the month.
  15. kwhite1022

    kwhite1022 Mouseketeer

    Oct 24, 2006
    Thats cuz your a spartan....made of good stock ;)
  16. JoiseyMom

    JoiseyMom <font color=orange>Have you had your SPANX today??

    Nov 5, 2003
    I see that attitude all the time. My DS at 17 (he is now 26), got my old car which was a 1990 geo prizm!! He bought himself a new car in 2007!! My other DS at 17 got my DH's grandfathers old car. When DS wrecked it he used the insurance money to buy another one, when that one was totalled he was SOL!! He used his own money 6 months later to buy himself a car. He also was on his own insurance.

    Both my adult sons, cook, clean, sew, and iron!! My FDIL's friends all want to know where they can find one like him!! LOL.

    My DD13 hates TAGS!! (what she calls designer anything). She would never wear uggs..but loves her fuggs!! Now she used to have a hugh wardrobe, but when she went shopping with me, she realized I always hit the clearance/sales racks first and if an item wasn't on sale, she didn't get it. She was taught that she had as much as she did, becuase I got them dirt cheap!!

    DD8 has a harder time with it. When we book vacations, they understand that there is a chance we won't be able to go. We did cancel our cruise last summer..the budget just couldn't do it. They understood.

    There were items they watned for the holidays and I told them that I wasn't paying 35.00 for a DS game for each of them. Now, they did wind up getting them, but I got them from Amazon for 19.99 each!! And I told them that. I explained that they got the games they did, becuase I got great deals on them.

    My kids see me shopping sales all the time, and I explain to them. My older boys were taught to pay their credit cards in full every month. They got their first cards when they went to college. They have so far learned that lesson, and are fiscally responsible!

    It's all what you teach them and show them!!
  17. funkychunkymonkey

    funkychunkymonkey DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    My mom did good. I didnt have alot. I save for things and shop second hand stores. Heck, I needed a new bed but DIDNT go put it on a credit card, I started saving (then got a second hand one free!). Ive worked since 18.
  18. DonnaBelle2005

    DonnaBelle2005 Mouseketeer

    Jan 18, 2005
    I am a little ashamed to admit I have VERY spoiled children. They are so use to saying " I wan that " and I buy it. It comes from me being poor as a child and not getting those things and always "WISHING" I had certain things....so I swore my kids wouldn't go without.

    BIG MISTAKE ON MY PART! I am now "retraining my almost 8 & 10 year old and they do not like it. They are use to going shopping and coming home with new toys even though they did nothing to deserve them - Not anymore.

    My twin sis and I worked full time the summers of our Junior and Senior year to save money to pay for our own clothes, school expenses that our parents couldn't afford, and to have money in the bank. We didn't even realize we were poor until we were adults...because we had what we needed and if we wanted something - we worked and paid for it with our own $.

    Our senior year our parents gave us their old car - it was 1990 and the car was 1978 grandma type car. Guess what - we were a little embarrassed but we quickly got over it and loved having the freedom to drive to/from school and not ride the bus. They gave us $5-10 a week for gas and if we went over we paid for it ourselves. We paid for over 1/2 of our senior items and also used our Graduation $ for our Senior trip to Myrtle beach - which we could only afford to stay 5 nights instead of 6...and guess what -we lived. We also worked the last 6 wks of our Senior year to save additional $ for gas/etc. for our trip and to pay our own expenses.

    I am now having to redirect my kids into knowing I cannot give them everything just because...........I realize they don't appreciate what we do for them - esp my almost 10 year old who is mouthy and thinks I "owe" him.

    Anyway...I like this thread...thanks for letting me post/vent....I love my kids but am having to re-teach them to work for what they want or they simply will not get it.
    Donna in Charlotte, NC
  19. bebelle

    bebelle DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2007
    Same for our family. We are big Dave Ramsey fans. We have raised our children to value people not things. When our 15 year old DS decided that he needed his own laptop, he started saving his money towards that goal. At times it meant he was missing out on a concert or an event with his friends but he was focused. We are very proud of how he was able to prioritize his wants vs needs. He showed maturity and self-control. It also made him realize that your life is a sum of the choices you make.
  20. bebelle

    bebelle DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2007
    If anyone is interested, Dave Ramsey has a great curriculum on his website to teach kids about money management.
  21. Grendalynn

    Grendalynn Self Proclaimed DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2005
    I had a conferance flier come across my desk last summer... It was called "How to cope with Generation Y - the generation of entitlement". This really stuck in my mind... I work in Education and see all walks of life. Many are the ones the OP lists...

    The minute my sisters and I (5 of us all together) made it to 9th grade we had full time summer jobs, weekend jobs and babysitting. We bought 90% all of our school cloths. If we didnt work or save, we didnt have new cloths for fall. We grew up in a family business and worked most every weekend, all summer and vacation weeks. Sure, we got our allowances, took nice vacations and never went without. But I had many, many hand me downs, used skis and bikes, and never the newest or up to date anything. My sisters and I shared the family van and were responcible for the gas we used. We all hard chores on a daily basis. All my siblings paid for upwards of 75% of their college educations, and had full time jobs while in school, too.

    Sure, I resented my parents a little, but I learned to appreaicate it all very quickly. Both DHs and my parents went through bankruptsy in the 80's. The last recession this country faced before now... All the things we took for granted were suddenly gone or cut way way back. I chose to put college off as I knew my parants couldnt afford the small amount they were already liable to pay for.

    DH and I have 3 kids of our own. Yes, they have nice things and don't go without, but they certainly know the value of a dollar. DS10 works with his dad 3 or 4 days a week during the summer. Not hard, but he is there and puts his time in. He would probably disagree with this. ;) DH and I married young and started a family young. This was our choice and it wasn't easy. We look at each other some times and wonder "why us?" but we have come to the realization that had we never struggled, we wouldn't appreciate how far we've come and the thinsg we have now. I think it makes us better people... :idea:.

    In closing, I am not sure there is a right or a wrong answer to this, but it is certainly an epidemic that is evident in America today. All I can do as a Mom and wife is to make sure my kids understand the value of a dollar, how hard it is to climb out of a hole of financial debt, the great feeling you get when you sav and work hard to accomplish something, and the good feeling you get for doing those things. This country was initially built on hard work, persevearance, sweat and tears. I can only hope I instill the same qualities that were instilled in me.

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