6.29.2013

Financial Responsibility

"There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it." Proverbs 21:20

It’s the end of June and the joyful feeling of “summer is here” has subsided along with a huge reality check regarding the negative number on this month's cash flow. I’m not thrilled with it at all, and come July we’ll have to make adjustments. Like a rubber band sooner or later we get snapped back! It was fun for my daughter enjoying activities, outings, and camp, but it’s not free and everything adds up.

Unfortunately, last week, I had to make the decision to skip a movie outing as I guesstimated that we had spent enough. At first it wasn’t received well, but after a quick rundown of the expenses, gas prices, and a scheduled doctor’s visit for ear piercing she eventually saw it from my view point.

As parents we need to share the big picture concerning fiscal responsibility with our kids. It’s the least we can do next to good hygiene, the Golden rule, and being self-reliant. Children truly have no concept of how long and hard it takes daddy to bring home a salary. Furthermore, how his salary has to be stretched or calculations adjusted on the monthly budget depending on urgency, season, and needs. They have no idea.

For some families it’s a desperate situation where bills are in a lottery -- a lucky bill gets picked to be paid without regard. Most of us have a sparing monthly income and after food, gas, and housing it leaves little for outstanding bills. If a family has medical bills that’s a whole other circumstance that can be distressing and frustrating, and could bring any joyful household to the edge of hopelessness quick.

Prepare your children and don’t make purchases an isolated event. Yes, make a celebration of getting their first scooter or a desirable American Girl doll, but don’t omit the facts on how much it costs with accessories, and if there be shipping and tax. High-priced technology is not off-limits either, no longer are these items reserved for adult wish lists. Make sure you know what you’re committing to as far as maintenance, insurance, and monthly costs to run digital devices.

Parents, hold out as long as you can. Once we agree to get a digital device for the kids it might be difficult to disagree when the newest version comes out while they’re honing their skills at negotiating.

After much practice and discipline, and with the help of my God, I have learned much about dismissing instant gratification to witness a bigger pay off down the road after more than a year. My testimony includes paying down significant credit card debt and using cash only simultaneously. Yes, don’t think it impossible, because “with God all things are possible!”

Getting free from the lender takes one right decision at a time.
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