My first blog…kids and money

What a way to bring in the summer with my first ever blog! I have been debating for months on how to start my blog, knowing that would be my first hurdle to jump, and hopefully the rest will follow smoothly. But where to begin!? While consulting family, my boyfriend suggested to start in the middle and work my way outwards to the issues that matter most to me.

So here we go…

I’m 34 so let’s start with me at age 17. Woah! What an age to start with…thanks James! Lol.

I thought I was invincible at age 17 – who didn’t at that age! I’d already jumped through many hurdles to include an alcoholic father, divorced parents (which I was in support of), and a few serious medical issues resulting in severe migraines, numbness, and fatigue, along with depression and anxiety. But at age 17, all that seemed to finally be in the past besides occasional migraines.

I was in “love” with my middle and high school sweetheart and was very successful in school. I was a high school junior (11th grade) and getting ready for prom just after turning 17 in February 2000.

My family was very limited on income so I had pinched pennies and saved all I could to buy a stunning prom gown. I worked at our local newspaper as an intern, typing up any and all types of documents that came in the office to be published from weddings to funerals to columns about how to get ready for the spring garden season. The use of email and the Internet was still up-and-coming so most stuff came in by mail or fax and had to be typed up in Associated Press format. I even got to write an editorial column of my own each week about whatever topic suited me. I also got to write some articles, mostly dry stories like the current increase or decrease of unemployment rates. Needless to say, I earned every penny of my minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.

I was upset when my Momma, sister, and I found the perfect prom dress at the very first stop we made at a little (and I mean little!) boutique in the Haymount area of downtown Fayetteville. It was a bright shade of red with a black lace covering, making it shimmer more of an exuberant burgundy. The top was tight fitting, showing off my large bosom quite well but also modestly covering up any cleavage, and cascaded out like a ball gown from my waist. It was the perfect fit except for a couple inches too long. The saleswoman was so encouraging, and my mother and sister were truly in awe at its beauty on me. Then we all saw the price tag, hence me being upset! I immediately took the dress off. It was a good $150 more than my $200 saved up. This moment in my life is so vivid because of the next few words spoken. My mother simply put it, “This dress was made for you. I’ll pay the extra if this lady can take payments.” If I recall correctly, my sister put a little money toward it too. To this day it warms my heart to know how much they cared 17 years ago to put their hard earned money toward a dress I would only wear once but cherish the memories for a lifetime. My mother was just a secretary for the local community college and had been since she was 19. She had finally built her own home, and we had just moved in that Christmas before. Money was very tight for her as she still had my younger brother and I at home. And my sister was in college working full-time to pay for tuition and live near her school in Wilmington. She tirelessly worked afternoon and night shifts so she could attend classes during the day and she wouldn’t need the financial support of our parents, not that either of them could have helped monetarily any ways. It was the same for me when I went off to college.

Here’s my question for the day:

Do kids today appreciate the hard earned money their parents and other family members spend on them?

My five-year-old son knows Mommy doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money and that the things he wants cost “green paper money.” It took a while to teach him this lesson, but now when he wants a toy or candy, which is nearly every time we walk into a store, he first asks if Mommy has the money to buy him this or that. He is a rambunctious little boy with a loud mouth, so he normally asks where everyone around us can hear, but I still answer him with a no most of the time. This lesson is still a work in progress with my littlest.

Now my two oldest, stepchildren from a previous marriage, know better about the value of money than their little brother. My 12-year-old daughter is always wanting something but she knows she must help around the house or with her younger brother in order to earn the money she needs. My 14-year-old son is already helping his Dad on weekends in order to earn the money he needs for material possessions he desires, mostly video games and online play cards

Give me your thoughts about kids knowing the value of money today? This includes young children, like my five-year-old, to as old as 18.

Here is a link to an article I found interesting on ways to teach kids about money: