By Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator
So here’s another blog about kids. Naturally, we didn’t mean this to happen, although since today is Take your Son or Daughter to Work day I thought the kid-focused blog deserved another appearance.
Today I brought my daughter to work with me. She is nine and in the third grade and hopefully old enough to get something out of this day. She said something to me a few months ago that really has stuck with me “Mom, I know a lot about personal finance. Probably more than you did at my age.” So yes, it is true. She does. It is probably because I talk about the importance of saving and being financially fit all the time. I think I tie finances to just about everything we do or don’t do. I know my friends get tired of hearing it, probably so do my daughters, but I really cannot stress this enough to them. The world has brought about so many opportunities for our family. We have lived all over the world, moved a bunch, and gotten to see and do so much in their young lives. Sometimes we all lose touch of the reason all this happens. We work hard, we save money for those adventures, and we are learning from past financial hiccups.
Having those hiccups as part of our past to learn from has always helped us remained focused on the plan. The plan, the plan. Savings is the most important part of our plan.
We focus on about 6 different savings goals at once with that one overall plan. One of those goals is debt-repayment, the other goal-focused savings include a vacation fund, education funds, emergency savings, home repairs, then (of course) retirement , which includes about 3 plans within it including the Thrift Savings Plan.
So in preparing for this take-your-daughter-to-work day, my daughter asked me what is Military Saves anyway? Wait, what? I thought for sure she knew. Honestly, I talk about it all the time, but I suppose I never got down to the nitty gritty and said what the program is and why it is important. So then I launched into the grand lecture. After about 10 minutes I lost her in the explanation. I would much rather show her today anyway. I am sure a few lectures might spout out of me today. I will try to keep them at a minimum and work on focusing that energy toward things that make sense to her, I have to remember she is nine.
I will take a moment to say how proud I am of her; she did save her birthday money, Christmas money, and a portion of her allowance for about five months and bought herself a (refurbished) iPod. See, she is already living the message, even if she didn’t realize it.
image from Flickr Creative Commons