Sunday, October 15, 2006

Money Issues for Gen Xers

Last week John and I put overselves on a budget. After years of riding the overspending, cutting back, overspending cycle, we're trying to get things under control. As we grow in this area, we try to teach our kids to do the same. It's a challenge, isn't it?

My friend, Michelle, emailed me with this post. It seems I'm not the only one dealing with this issue. Here is what Michelle had to stay:

Last night at our women's Bible study we were discussing values and somehow instilling in our children the beauty of waiting for what they want, a seemingly impossible task in a "gotta have it now" world.

Like most of the ladies, I learned early on how to take care of myself so I tend to be thrifty. Our goal is to teach our kids how to prevent overextending themselves financially so they won't be in debt and slaves to their lenders early on in their independent years. As GenXers a lot of us had to take care of ourselves because we were growing up in the era that first defined/discovered latch key kids.

The majority of the women in my Bible study had grown children already so I was one of the few GenXers in the bunch. What I struggle with is balancing how much to make my kids work for and how much to help them out--in short, finding balance.

In today's society teaching kids to wait for what they want is no easy challenge, especially since while growing up I had to provide for myself in many ways. Because of my experience, I don't want my boys to have to struggle like I did. However, the Lord has blessed me (I'm being serious here/not funny) with the inability to provide my kids with many of the things their peers own. As a result, I've found that they are learning much more from having to work and save (they are 13 and 14) and buy their "wants" themselves than if I just bought things for them.

Sometimes having less is the only way to instill these values, so today I'm thanking the Lord for having less money and possessions, and not more. :)

So what about you? Do you find this to be a challenge? What do you do to find balance?

To find out more about Michelle, go to:


At Monday, 16 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having such a hard time with this! Most of the time I feel like if I can't even get our finances under control how can I teach my son the proper way to handle money?

I know all of the right things to do, but knowing isn't the same as applying.

I'm thrifty. We don't have a lot of bling. We only have one vehicle. And yet, we're still struggling. I know part of the reason, but I can't help but think if we would have saved some we'd be doing a little better. But then I wonder, is this God's refining fire? Are we going through these things because we need to understand HE will provide?

I hope someone can shed some light on how to teach money matters to my son correctly!

At Monday, 16 October, 2006, Blogger Michelle said...

Thanks for posting, Tricia. The funny thing is I married a baby boomer and he refuses to get rid of anything. So we have four cars (actually a 1999 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2000 Dodge Dakota extended cab truck, 1993 Chevy van, and a 1994 Dodge Shadow car) and insuring them alone is no small feat! I guess if the boys are going to crash them... (I didn't say that, but one WILL be fifteen in December.) Sigh. The good thing is at least one of them is always running, and there are no payments to the bank.

At Monday, 16 October, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

That is so hard to teach your children in this "I want society!" The value of the dollar is the relative term, is nothing if they do not have what their peers have.

I try to be thrifty but life gets in the way, way too many trips out to eat and clothes to fill the closet.

I just bought sixteen boxes of Girl Scout cookies, to even out the orders. Christmas presents?

At Monday, 16 October, 2006, Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

I totally agree about "How can I teach my kids if I can't figure it out myself." This is a big struggle.

One thing they did pick up on is the search for the sale item vs. the name brand expensive item. My daughter can't imagine spending $50 on a pair of jeans. Me either.

At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Blogger Cara Putman said...

The trip Abigail and I just took was a great chance to teach her some money concepts. She had to earn her spending money. And she learned that some things she had spent money on before, she wished she'd saved instead. Originally, the idea was to have her pay for half her ticket, but I got lazy on the follow through. She still learned some lessons. Now we have to apply those to everyday life :-)


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