September's article was "Your belief system about money from childhood". I received a wonderful response about one parent who decided it would be good to allow her daughters to make their own decisions when it came to something they both
, but not necessarily
. Here is what a member of our audience shared with me.
"Our two oldest daughters both wanted braces. One daughter really needed braces to correct her teeth, while the other daughter wanted them because many of her friends had braces and it seemed like the cool thing to do. I took both girls, who were in junior high school at the time, to an orthodontist for a free consultation. He confirmed what I was thinking, which was that one girl needed braces and one did not. After the consult, I talked to each girl individually and told them that they could each get braces, but they would need to earn $1,000 first to put toward the cost of braces. One daughter got a job during her school lunch hour wiping down tables. It took her a year but she earned $1,000 and had her braces put on. When I asked the other daughter if she was going to get braces she said, "no way". This was an easy way to teach the girls about saving for things that they really wanted or needed and it let them make their own decision about how important braces really were to them. As you may have guessed, the daughter who really needed the braces is the one who earned and saved $1,000, while the daughter who wanted braces in order to be popular, dropped the idea entirely."
Here is what I took from her story.
The mother first and foremost let the daughter's make the decision for themselves as to whether
the braces in the first place and how much they were willing to work for them. That was a good
call on the mother's part because the girls gained ownership of their decision.
The next thing the mother did was help them understand what a
need was and what a
want was. Then
put it on them to determine if they valued the braces enough to work for them. Another good call on the
mother's part. Let me tell you why.
Each of us, probably on a daily basis, determines whether we
need something or just
want it. Let me give
you the definition of both words so we're on the same page.
A NEED is something we "require or have to have to live".
Basic needs would be food, child care, utilities,
clothing, (basic, not designer grade), housing, and some insurances. There are also extra needs that
pertain to things that allow us a chance to make our lives more enjoyable, safe and comfortable. These
needs are different for different people. An example maybe a cell phone. Not necessarily a smart phone,
but something to have when we travel to feel a little bit more protected should anything happen and we
need to make a call for help.
With our story, one daughter had a
need for braces. Regardless of what the dental reasons were that
made the braces necessary, they would also improve her mental well-being when it came to her self
image and her level of self-confidence; the braces were a need!
A WANT on the other hand is not required for survival. We can usually do without a
want if we really
think about it long and hard. A want is defined as things you would love to have but could do without if
there wasn't enough money to buy them. These are not necessary, but if your income was big enough,
you would have them.
With the mother allowing the girls to determine their own
needs and wants, she has taught them a very
valuable lesson. From that lesson, they determined the outcome and both girls were fine with their own
Another good call from the mother was to let the girls take responsibility for earning a portion of what
was needed for the braces. They learned to take responsibility for their decision and to achieve the end
result they both were looking for. The daughter with the need got what she needed in the end, and the
daughter without the need chose for herself and decided to pass. In the end, they were both satisfied
with their decisions.
The lessons in this story are many, and I am sure the member of our audience learned the value of money
from her childhood. By remembering her own lessons, she taught a few valuable lessons to her own
daughter's. You Go MOM!
I look forward to hearing from more of you.