Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Lesson Learned-Live Within Your Means

The leaders of our church have always stressed the importance of managing finances and provident living.  We often hear the phrases, "Get out of Debt, and Stay Out of Debt!", and "Live Within Your Means".  I had the opportunity yesterday to teach my teenage daughter the importance of these concepts.  She and a friend went to the mall for some shopping.  My daughter earns her own $ through babysitting and brought with her the last of her $ which was $28.  While shopping she found a really cute shirt for $15, but didn't have enough $ for it.  Her friend offered to lend her the $ (which was actually her mom's $), and my daughter accepted.  When she got home and told me about it, I wasn't too happy about her decision to borrow $ from her friend.  I took the opportunity to teach her about the importance of not going into debt and living within your means.  I taught her that you don't ever spend $ that you don't have.  She didn't think that it was that big of a deal because she knew that she had a babysitting job the following week and could pay her back then.  I emphasized once again that you don 't ever spend $ that you don't have, even if you think you will be getting $ soon.  We talked about how you never know if the babysitting job might fall through. We also talked about how it will feel when she gets paid for babysitting knowing that she already spent that $.  It's such a simple concept...Don't spend $ that you don't have.  Live within your means. It was a good teaching moment.  She admitted that she felt a little guilty borrowing $ from her friend, and knew that she shouldn't have done it.  After we talked, I loaned her $15 and we immediately went to her friend's house to pay her back so that she owed me rather than her friend.  Now that it's after the fact, I'm glad that it happened.  It's these kind of experiences that teach great life lessons.  We don't give our kids allowances.  They earn their own $ and after they pay their tithing and put some away in savings, they can spend it how they'd like.  We've watched our kids make both good and bad choices with their $.  When they make a bad choice, we usually don't even have to tell them that they made a bad choice because they usually eventually figure that out on their own.  But it's usually through the bad choices that they learn the importance of being smart with their $.  Hopefully all of these experiences will help them learn to become responsible with their $ which in turn will help them become responsible adults.

I loved this "Mormon Message" about provident living.  I hope you will watch it.

"Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.  Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted." (2 Nephi 9:51)