ThreeJars.com, in my opinion, is the solution to our country’s soul crushing debt ceiling. Sounds simple, right? Three jars – it sounds like something my grandpa might have done with his money when he wasn’t hiding it in his mattress.
When I was younger, I would have scoffed at the very idea. It seems too simple in a technologically advanced age but, in respect to the current recession, I’d say we all need to get back to basics and this is it.
We have spent so much time trying to live bigger and better that we have moved completely away from not only utilizing the basics, we’ve forgotten to teach them to our children.
If our country is in these kinds of financial dire straits at a time when there are people still alive who remember the Depression, what do you think it will look like in 30 years when our children (who we are NOT teaching the basic concept of saving their money, compounding interest and spending their own money cautiously) are grown and having families of their own?
I don’t know about you but I’d much rather put a little time and effort in now, teaching my girls about fiscal responsibility, than spend my old age going bald and trying to figure a way to split my retirement fund between keeping the Big Guy and I in Depends and tapioca while keeping our grown children and their spouses and children in food because we never taught them the true meaning of the dollar.
I simply do not want to be that person, do you?
Our nation is in the situation it is in due to the fact that there is a whole generation that has existed on the credit card since college. First we used it for beer and wings, when we didn’t have cash.
We promised we’d pay that sucker off before our parents ever knew we even got the credit cards that they were handing out like lollipops in the quad. Oh, you remember…with the free t-shirt.
Poor unsuspecting fools we were and there we were, without our parents to stop us. Soon, beer and wings turned into fashionable clothes above our station, engagement rings, using our plastic to impress people we didn’t really know or care about it.
Then we graduated, shrouded in debt, but we were engaged and now we needed a place to cohabit. A wedding to plan, honeymoon, clothes, shoes, cars, trips, fancy dinners and date nights.
Then you needed a house. Then babies came. You needed a bigger house. A bigger car. A better school system. A better car. A lifestyle. YOU needed to not only keep up with the Jones’..YOU needed to be the Jones’!
All the while, your credit cards were hot but you were keeping up. You were extended to the max but you paid all your bills. Paid all that interest.
Then it happened. You lost your job. Your grandma died and you had to travel. Your tire blew. Your kid got sick. You ran out of money and had to pay bills, groceries, lights and water on those damn credit cards.
Now you are swimming, no drowning, in debt. You are barely keeping your head above water. You are stressed out. Arguing with your spouse. Biting your kids’ heads off. Embarrassed because you can’t be the Jones’ anymore.
There is still a tiny bit of credit left so you still try to live this imaginary lifestyle that you can’t afford, all the while falling deeper and deeper into debt.
Is this what you want for your kids? NO way! You know that overwhelmed, sick to your stomach, how am I going to buy diapers feeling you’ve gotten from being overextended? It IS preventable. The prevention?
ThreeJars.com is an online program that allows our child to learn firsthand how to manage their money. We all know that it’s easier to spend on plastic than it is to spend your very own hard earned cash. I know it’s virtually painless to spend on my plastic. I just whip it out, swipe and foggedaboutit. But that’s not reality.
Perhaps, if I were painfully aware of how hard it was to earn that cash, how much interest I was going to pay on this unnecessary purchase and thought about more important things (or things I wanted more) and how easily I could save for those items, perhaps then, I would be a little more cautious and a little less burning a hole in pocket like.
Maybe if I were offered an incentive to save, like a high yield interest rate, or could easily allocate my money in the direction of causes close to my heart rather than superficial things, then maybe I would do so.
How do you teach your child to be financially responsible?
Photo Source: ThreeJars.com