Columnist: Talking to your kids about money

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

When have you talked with your kids about $$$$$$$$$$$?

This is not a trick question, I am waiting on your answer. You say, “Never, what is there to talk about?” Yes, that is why Susie wants a $45,000 wedding when you can only afford a $2,000 wedding for her.

People do not talk with their kids about money and how long it takes to save up. Dave Ramsey has a great idea when buying their first car. He says for every dollar they save match them the same.

If they save $4,500 give them $4,500, but no loans. The big lesson here is no car payments! Wow, if you taught them that one lesson they would be better off for life.

What about college? Tommy wants to go to college forever, and let’s also pick a winning football team to make it really fun for five years to get a four year degree.

I love Ashley’s comment, “One time Pop said he would pay for only four years.”

Guess what? She finished on time.

You need to sit down and talk with your kids about having great grades and getting a job to help. You are doing your kids a favor by letting them work while they are in school. Jay and Ashley both had jobs while they were in school and are doing much better today for that reason.

I teach by giving examples of some of my mistakes. You can do the same by sharing with your kids how the fancy car looked really cool but was not worth working overtime or a second job to pay for it. Or the time you co-signed a note with a great friend, but you had to make the payments when he missed and you are now no longer friends.

Set family goals and sit down over a home-cooked hamburger and talk about how to reach your goals.

Yes, Tommy, goals require sacrifice to get what you want in life. Yes, life is full of choices. Some you make are smart, some are really dumb, but learn from your past and read good books about how to do better. A great one would be “Smart Money, Smart Kids” by Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey.

I give a lot of books away at one time. I put a $100 bill in as a book marker. One day I thought no one ever calls and said thanks for the book, and I love the book marker. I started putting checks and noted three years had gone by and they had not cashed the check! What a waste! But I have some that give me a call and say that was a great book, and wow, $100!

Life is never dull!

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.