Money Matters

I’ve been thinking about how to talk to Miss Red about money. Money was a tense subject in my house growing up and I want her to have a sense of empowerment about budgeting and monetary decisions, because it’s something I still struggle with at 34. My husband and I have a pretty good way of talking about money – sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s tense – but in the end we generally reach the same conclusions. Most of the time.

I’m working on not seeing spending as something to feel guilty about, and doing my best to witness my relationship to money. Geneen Roth, the author of Women, Food and God, wrote a book called Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations About Food and Money, where she chronicles how she lost everything to Bernie Madoff, and how her relationship to money is related to food. Interesting, no?

My mother-in-law was able to be part of a cool Sesame Street project, which focused on financial literacy. She even met Elmo and got to stand in Oscar’s trash can! Sesame Street’s model is an interesting one, but I’m wondering what you all do to talk about money with your kids. Do you plan on giving them allowance? Will you ask them to save for college?

– MD

  1. Talking about money openly is so important. I can’t speak to the kids part, but husband came from a household that was very frank about money. We have a budget (loosely based on the “envelope system” as evangelized by Dave Ramsey), review it every six months, pay off the credit cards every month, save for the future and for big goals, and give each other free rein over our “fun money.” And probably most important, we took to heart a wise woman’s words: “If you give, you will never feel poor.”

      • MD
      • March 14th, 2012

      I love that statement – it is so true. The first step really is to feel comfortable talking about it – minus emotion – so that we can model a healthy appreciation and approach. It’s even getting to that first step that can take a while!

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