The Discipline of Saving & Investing

My son and I had a little situation the other day that I thought I would share with you.  He’s fifteen and working his first job a Chick-fil-A.  I think that’s great.  It show initiative and a desire to produce.  My only stipulations to him working, and I explained them up front, is that:

  1. Grades/school come first.  If those slip, you’re done.reportcard.jpg
  2. 10% of your earnings go into a savings account when you cash your check.

In my mind those two stipulations are unbend-able and not negotiable.  End of story.

Well, the first check he cashed he put in 10%, though he did grumble a bit.  We sat down that day and I penciled out for him the power of savings and letting your money work for you.  When we were done he looked up at me and said “Wow.  I’m going to be  millionaire someday.”

So I thought I had gotten through to him.  Then the other day he caBuild wealthshed his check, and since his savings account shows up on my electronic banking I noticed that he only deposited roughly 6% of his check.  Immediately, I confronted him and asked him “What’s up?” 

He stated that he had saved a little and that was good.  He just wanted to keep out more money so he could buy that such and such he wanted from Best Buy.  And besides, he had put aside a little bit.

Are you any different from that fifteen year old who is just beginning the earnings part of his life?  Are you tempted to save a little less than you know you should so you can get the cooler car?  Or the bigger house?  Or eat out more often? 

Wanting things is no sin.  Not saving money, or investing money, is no sin either.  It’s just not smart economics.  You’ve heard a million times “Pay yourself first.”  So why don’t we do this?

If you are in a situation where money is tight start where you can.  Can’t save 10% immediately?  Start with 1%.  Or 2%.  Something.  But start the habit.

I cannot control what my son will do his whole life.  But by goodness while he’s under my roof I’m going to do the best I can to build that savings & investing habit while educating him as to the benefits.  He needs to know that if he doesn’t discipline himself life will take care of it for him. 

What techniques have you used to educate your children on investing & saving?

3 Comments

Filed under Personal Real Estate Opinions

3 responses to “The Discipline of Saving & Investing

  1. My daughter Megan was always an excellent student. Josh was too.

    I knew college would present, ah, challenges to self -discipline. I established a simple rule: 3.5 gpa (honor roll) or no money from the Bank of Dad. Josh graduated in ’04 with the required gpa the whole way, and his sister is doing the same.

    Along the way they’ve both discovered what they’re capable of doing when properly motivated. It’s been the same blessing for them as it was for me when the Mean Ol’ Bastard applied the same principles on my sorry butt. 🙂

    Your son will no doubt continue to test Dad, but something tells me that since you’ve already taken that test, he’s in for some fun conversations. 🙂

  2. Thanks for commenting, Jeff. Testing is a teenager’s job, right?

    My question is, and this is a whole other blog for a whole other author, when did it become okay for parents to forget that doing what is best for the kid is more important than having the kid like you 24 hrs a day?

  3. I have that thought too from time to time.

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