Before you read this post, please understand that I’m not being political, I’m not looking down on anyone who lives their life differently from how I feel my life should be lived — I’m just stating my own personal feelings and how I feel my life should be lived.
I believe pretty much everything Dave Ramsey has to say and I think if more people lived by his principles, we wouldn’t be in this housing mess and credit issues, for citizens as well as our nation, wouldn’t be a hot topic. Of course, I’m no economist but when Vince and I were in KY, we watched people get a little equity in their homes, either take out a home equity loan and buy a new car or take a cruise or sell the house and buy a bigger home with a bigger mortgage. Again, nothing wrong with taking a cruise, buying a new car or getting a bigger home but for us, our goal was to get our home paid off and never again have a home mortgage.
Any time Vince and I have looked to buy anything big, which we don’t do often, we think about what will happen if he loses his job or if he goes a few months without a paycheck.
Driving a fancy car, having expensive clothes, having a big, showing house . . maybe it just comes with age but none of that would ever be more important to me than having financial stability.
I’m a firm believer in having an “Emergency Fund”. I’ve tried to teach Chad my feelings about money. As a parent, I feel like a total failure in the finance department. Where do kids get the ideas that they don’t want to work (he is working now but there was a good while that he was between jobs and wasn’t interested in getting a job!); they want the best clothes, gadgets, cars and they don’t have a clue what they will do tomorrow or how they will pay for whatever they do?
Since Chad received his first paycheck several years ago working at Kroger, I have begged him to set up an emergency fund. He drives a 1997 vehicle and it will eventually need repairs. Yep, he’d do it . . next paycheck. Of course, it never happened.
Now, the transmission is going out in his car. It will be $2,000 to $2,500 to fix it. The car is probably worth $3,00 to $3,500 but he has no money to buy another car; and, if he did have enough to buy a car, it would be a very used car and who’s to say it wouldn’t need $2,000 to $2,500 in repairs soon. At least we know the history of Chad’s current vehicle.
I could pay for the transmission but I will not because my feeling is that would not teach him any financial responsibility. Mom offered to send him $$ and I asked her not to do it. Chad needs to learn to save money for a rainy day. I don’t expect him to save every dime he makes but if he had saved just a little each month over the past 3 years, he would be in a much better position.
He isn’t going to go hungry because he lives at home and goes to college and works but he isn’t going to have any extra $$ for a while. I can only hope that he learns from this and that some day, he will see that our financial values are a much better way to live than living paycheck to paycheck, all the while buying fancy shirts, flashy cuff links and eating out at every opportunity instead of eating at home.
Parenting surely is big job! It’s so hard to know when to help, when to stand back and watch them flounder.