Thursday, August 02, 2007

From Where Does Money Come?

"I wish it grew on trees, but it takes hard work to make money." - Jim Cramer

When I was a child, I may not have completely understood money. However, I think I understood the basic concept how money came to us:

Parents - They acquired money by going to work at a company. They were paid for doing a job. Money was paid to them on a weekly basis.

My piggy bank - My parents gave me an allowance, most of which went into an coin bank. When I needed money, I would get coins out of the bank to spend.

Basically, I knew that money was earned for doing work, put into a bank and withdrawn later for use. I didn't learn about the concepts of credit cards and loans until much later, and was cautioned on using them by my parents.

Based on conversations with colleagues, I think children currently have a much different understanding about money. Today, some children think having money is an entitlement:

Parents - Money is acquired by going to an ATM machine, which distributes money when needed. These children do not understand that money needs to be deposited previously. When these parents say they don't have enough money to spend, their children suggest a trip to the ATM to replenish the deficit.

Credit Card and Loans - No money, no problem. Credit cards or loans from parents or others are the solution. Sometimes, the attitude is get it now and don't worry about how to pay it back. A colleague's child has borrowed money for a car and LASIK eye surgery, and has never paid it back. The child is now asking for a "loan" to buy a house.

While I would want to "save" my child from financial issues, I realize that as an older parent, I won't be present for most of her life. She will need to understand the old-fashioned realities of money, i.e. it takes hard work and is not an entitlement.

For more on Crossing Generations , check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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