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I’m at the point in my life where my friends are getting married and popping out children. This is an odd moment because, at the age of 27 (28 in November), I CANNOT imagine having kids. Not only am I nowhere close to where I want to be financially before having kids, but I’m still so focused on me and establishing a solid footing before jumping into something as scary as children. Props to those of you with kids, I applaud you. 👏
I’d like to make a few things clear before I continue: I do not begrudge people for having more money than me. I admire their hard work and seek to put in a tremendous amount of effort to get to where they are. I aspire to reach that same financial success someday.
As I write this article, I’m at the Starbucks in Highland Park, which is one of the wealthiest areas in all of Dallas. I’d like to make a few observations which led me to write this article because trust me it wasn’t on my schedule of post topics:
- There are a ton of nice cars in the parking lot driven by 12-year-olds (ok, they’re probably not 12, but they look like toddlers 👶)
- Everyone is wearing brand names clothing – 🙄
- I’ve heard a lot of complicated orders – “Grande, Quad, Nonfat, One-Pump, No-Whip Mocha with an extra cup so I don’t burn my hands”
- They’re rude
I’ll just stop there because I think I’ve made my point. Sh*t is annoying. I get a feeling that many people here have a sense of entitlement. Alright – not EVERYONE here is like this, but it’s a significant majority. The sad part is that many of these people are under the age of 18. I wonder if these kids have ever worked for the things they have.
Aside from the fact that driving fancy cars and wearing expensive clothes goes against everything I stand for as a personal finance blogger, I feel that many young people who grow up in wealthy families don’t know a damn thing about hard work.
Jobs Teach Hard Work
From the day I turned 13, I’ve held a job. Sure, from 13-16 I didn’t work a w2 job because you know, it’s #illegal. But, I did find ways to make money. From a very early age, I had a Lawn Mowing business. When I say business, I mean I pushed the lawn mower around the neighborhood knocking on doors. I also worked on my mom’s best friends ranch bailing hay, fixing fences, shredding, and feeding and grooming horses.
Was all this work fun? Sometimes, but often it was simply JUST HARD WORK.The work ethic I have today is 100% due to the hard work I put in when I was younger.Click To Tweet
Every child does not need to work 3 jobs at once, but they should prove they can hold down a job, work hard and make sacrifices.
They’ll Learn How To Manage Money
Working a job doesn’t correlate to KNOWING how to manage their money. If that were the case everyone would be a personal finance expert and I’d be out of a job. Bobby (aka Millennial Money Man) has strong opinions about what he’d teach kids about money and what would happen if kids were educated about money.
Having a job isn’t going to teach your kids about money, but it does set the stage to have the conversation. It’s every parent’s obligation to teach their children how to manage money. Your kid earning money is a great start. You can teach them the value of hard work, what to do with their money and the impact of spending now versus investing for the future. I’ve met several people whose parents refused to even talk about money. Saying those kids had a hard time understanding money as adults is an understatement.
Check out Erin Lowry’s book, Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together to understand your money psyche.
Your Kids Won’t Be Spoiled
There is nothing wrong will spending your hard-earned money on your kids. In fact, that’s probably one of the most rewarding ways to spend money, eh? But do it in a way that teaches them a lesson and encourages them to make the right choices. Give them choices of instant or delayed gratification. Show them the power of a dollar now and a dollar in 30 years. Help them save, set goals, work hard and invest. You and your kids will thank you later. Above all else, teach them to love.Kindness, empathy, and compassion can never be replaced. Not even by money. Be a good human being.Click To Tweet
What are other reasons kids should have jobs?
-My Strategic Dollar