So it’s been a while since my last post. And this is a follow up to that post. But I’ve been considering what would make us, as a family, happy. My kids just want cash so they can spend up big; which may sound a little shallow and self-centred but it kind of lets me know that maybe everything else is going along smoothly ie friends, school, activities, family time.
But the thing about money is, that if we’re not careful, we may fall into the trap that we never have enough.
Poor man want to be rich, rich man want to be king, and a king ain’t satisfied ‘til he rules everything.
– Badlands, Bruce Springsteen
So when Mr M and I decided on pocket money we gave a flat amount monthly. It’s not much, not much at all. It’s enough for them to be able to buy a toy, book, clothes, DVD etc but really only enough to buy one thing. Why? Because honestly, kids know no bounds. They would buy everything if they could. Who am I kidding? I would too but it’s a life skill to learn that you don’t “need” everything you see.
Delayed gratification, appreciation of what you do have and to be honest, learning to just not be wasteful. How many beyblades does one kid need?
Money don’t get everything it’s true, what it don’t get I can’t use.
I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.
So Beatles, which is it?
Macquarie Bank’s A Family Portrait shows that 81% of parents claim to try and teach their kids about money but also believe that money management should be on the school curriculum but only half of the parents taught kids how to important money is, how to budget and what to avoid spending money on.
And indicators such as whether the parents were high savers or had high debt impacted on their kids’ relationship with money.
Apparently, kids with high debt parents are more likely to spend their money on music.
My parents didn’t have high debt, nor did they have high savings but I certainly pissed a crap tonne of money on music when I was a teen and into my 20’s.
Having my own kids promptly put a stop to that. But you know what? My music saves me most days so I see that as an investment in my mental health.
Something else that makes us happy is talking. “Those that discuss their hopes and dreams and financial goals are happier than those who don’t”.
We love to talk about the Government of the day, the behaviour of our relatives, the state of the world and our hopes and dreams. Yep, sounds right. Though I see religion isn’t on the list.
Why do we like to talk? How does it help? I asked my go-to psychologist (my son’s Godmother) and she said that “talking with other people you are generating a feeling of connectedness, which is a basic human need. Also, having a peer support when attempting something new/ developing a skill, is a key element required to attain that skill.”
BUT….there’s always a but. Men are less like to carefully consider when they bring up a difficult topic and would much prefer to have a brief conversation than a D & M.
But the key finding in all of this is that those people who manage their money and have sound financial acumen – not the same as wealth – are happier.
Financial matters are and will forever be a concern to families but being in control of your future is comforting, rewarding, satisfying and gives us the confidence to forge on.
I’m off to put $100 in my savings account. And below is a link to the infographic with all the results.