Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We're in Debt ?!?

What I wouldn't give to be 12 again, with a world full of opportunity ahead of me. I would change so many things, make different choices (like attending the J.A. week long daycamp on becoming an entrepreneur). My darling daughter, who just turned 12 this week, is starting to open her eyes to some of the goings on in the world around her that she just didn't see before.

We talk a lot in our home about debt, savings, paying of bills, and all sorts of financial related activities. Goals and dreams of things we would like to do and buy once we have saved up for it.

I was talking to DD2 the other day about trips we would like to take, places we want to take the kids to. Special trips. I mentioned that once we were out of debt, we could focus on these things a little more and take those trips.

She looked at me quizzically, and said, "We're in debt?" She sounded sort of surprised.
I replied that yes, we were.

What an innocent, yet thought provoking statement from a child. She asked me how that happened, meaning how did we get into debt. I gently explained that we don't always know what we are doing as grownups, and that we had made some bad choices, and that our debt is a consequence of those choices.

"Kinda like getting a punishment, a time out, or getting grounded you mean?", she asked innocently.
"Yes. Exactly like that, only with money", I answered.

She walked away, mumbling about never getting debt, and I smiled. I have tried so hard to shield her from my financial troubles, and may have missed out on the opportunity to teach her the perils of debt. No more. I will no longer wait until she is out of earshot to have financial discussions with hubby about bills and things. But I will be careful to keep from scaring her, and if need be, show her that we have a plan to make it better for our future.

We are still working daily on getting out of our money 'grounding'. One day, we will be out of 'time-out', and we can take her on those special trips. And that day cometh soon.


  1. If I were you, I would show her your budget and your plan to get out of debt. My parents were always in debt and it helped me learn how to handle money.

  2. Love it! I remember how tight money was when I first bought this condo. Kazi was four at the time. I told we would have to find things to do that wouldn't cost much money and she offered up a few ideas of her own: visiting friends and visiting family were two things she thought of that would be free. Kids are so smart!!

  3. Ya I truly wish my parents had explained more about money to me! I might not be in such a bad place. The one thing I keep telling my sister is when she goes off to uni. to manager her money better so she doesn't end up home line me!