JUNE 2020 THE
COMMUNITY CONSCIENCE MONEY IS NOT A 4-LETTER WORD
Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I were married in 2013, Heather agreed to take on not only a husband but two boys, Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. The boys are now 18 and 19 years old and face growing up in a world very different than the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. We are far from perfect parents but we do our best. Our newsletter chronicles some of our successes and some of our less than stellar moments. We hope you can learn from some of our failures and find some entertainment in the moments we share. Our sons Andrew and Chandler could not be more different when it comes to spending money! Andrew left for college in Dillon, Montana, with savings from his summer job. He returned from Christmas break and was somehow able to limit his spending to less than $1,000 for the entire semester. To save money, he ate nearly every meal at the cafeteria, stayed in the dormitory, and watched every penny. At the same time, Chandler, our high school senior, received more packages from Amazon in three months than I have in my entire life. Although he stayed at home, he spent more than twice what Andrew spent away at college. I have not always had the greatest relationship with money. The entire topic makes me uncomfortable and has caused more discord than almost anything in my life. In our society, money is equated with prestige. We need to keep up with the Joneses and show off how much we can earn. Dealing with this important topic is a lot like talking about underage drinking. It can feel like you are being a hypocrite: Do as I say and not as I do! Andrew and Chandler have both had jobs since they were 15 years old. For Andrew, it was a downtown Bozeman bagel shop, and for Chandler, it was Wendy’s. Unlike many of their classmates, we made certain the boys knew that money came from work and not from their parents. However, managing money properly and having a healthy relationship with money can be more challenging. I have always been impressed with Dave Ramsey’s straight-forward approach to managing personal finances. On his website, he lists 10 things teens waste money on:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Trendy clothes and shoes
Fast food, vending machines, and coffee
Smartphones and apps
Spring break trips Cars and accessories
Video games and consoles
9. Expensive dates 10. One-click online spending
This isn’t to say your kids shouldn’t participate in big high school moments or enjoy something fun every now and then with their spending money, but learning early to budget and save money is important. (If you want to check out the full article yourself for more money tips for your kids, you can find it at DaveRamsey.com/blog/10- things-teens-waste-money-on.) The teenage years are great practice for adulthood because it is a time when kids can make mistakes with finances without putting themselves in a huge bind. It is our goal to have more conversations about money than we may have had in the past. We want to encourage our saver to feel better about spending a few bucks and to discuss with our spender the need to budget this month’s paycheck rather than send it to Amazon. Money is and always will be a difficult topic to discuss with your kids. We hope to get better at it ourselves.
- Lucas Foust
406-587-3720 • 1www.lucasfoustlaw.com
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