Of what use is money in the hand of a fool,
since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom?
I would not say that knowing how to manage your money is a hard thin. The principle is pretty basic, spend less than you bring in. But, while I wouldn’t say knowing how to manage your money is hard, I will say that managing your money is harder than we think. Just because we know what we should or shouldn’t do, doesn’t mean we are going to do that.
If we just did what we were supposed to do in all of life, we’d be in much better shape in pretty much every arena. If we ate what we were supposed to eat, if we worked like we were supposed to work, thought what we are supposed to think, etc. – our lives would be perfect and flawless.
Yet they’re not. We know a lot of things that we ought to be doing, but for some reason we don’t always do them.
Why is that? I don’t know. I don’t want to get into name calling and say all the things that we are. Because that’s not going to end well, even if it is true. But what happens is, we just decide we’re not going to. And somewhere along the way we decide that it’s okay to not do what we’re supposed to do in another area. Before long, we have many areas of our lives that we have decided to stop doing what’s right.
This is exactly what we do with money. It’s not that hard of a principle. We figure it out when we’re young. We count the change we’ve saved up and the birthday money we’ve received. Then we look at the things we can afford now.
But, early on, we also start to figure out the idea of credit – the very thing that destroys most of us. It’s not even that it’s bad parenting. I think it might just be the lack of thinking about what we’re teaching by doing this.
What is it that we’re doing? Well, when your kids don’t have the money to buy something, and they really want it – what happens next? Because, I think, what you do next will set your child up for success or failure. If you tell your kid that they have to save up more money, and work to earn more money until they are able to afford what they want – well then I think your kids are on the right track. However, if you make up the difference on a regular basis (it’s fine for birthdays and other rare occasions), you’re teaching your kids the habit of credit. Your teaching them to live beyond their means. You’re teaching them that it’s okay to buy things they can’t afford. You’re teaching them to be foolish with their money.
So, instead of training your child to be a fool with money, teach them to live within their means. Give them opportunities to earn money. Don’t just teach them to wait for money to be given to you like at Birthdays or Christmas. That’s not good either. They need to learn that they need to work for money. But, teach them that they can only buy what they have the money to pay for.
Anything beyond that is foolish and they’d be better off to not have any money at all.