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Mom’s Lessons: MoneyFesto

We all have memories from our childhood and some of the things I heard a lot as a kid, yet tried so hard not to say to my boys when I had my own family included “We can’t afford that” and “Do you think money grows on trees?” First of all, some things that we didn’t buy, we could have easily “afforded” if we didn’t pay some of our bills or chose to carry a credit card balance. So technically, while I might have felt like we couldn’t afford something, I wanted to be clear that “I choose not to allocate our budget that way.”

Secondly, paper money does indeed come from trees. My checkbook has checks in it. All you have to do is stick your bank card in an ATM and voilà, out comes money! So how can I, or anyone, ever be out of money? That is about what kids know until we teach them otherwise.

As the saying goes, “Money is not the root of all evil; it’s the love of money that is”. This means that if you put the pursuit of money above all else, things can get ugly. Money itself is power – not in the sense of the “wallet bully,” i.e., he who has the money has control. I mean that if you have money, you are empowered with choices and freedoms. At the very most basic level, you can choose what to buy at the supermarket. At the other end of the spectrum, you can choose to take a vacation or buy a house. You are also free to live without the oppressive burden of debt.

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