Monday, February 4th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
This past Saturday morning as I laid down on the floor in a haze, having woken up at 5:40 AM with you, I watched you carry around one of Mommy’s old purses, which for some reason you called your “wallet like Daddy’s.”
You then took out an old expired debit card and slid it across your high chair:
“I buy groceries with my money.”
The fact you have quietly observed Mommy and I scan our debit card enough times to associate that action with the word “money” is interesting to me.
You do understand the concept of coins being money because you have a piggy bank.
However, I’m pretty sure you have no idea what cash is. I just don’t know that you’ve ever seen Mommy or I use it.
By the time I graduated high school in 1999, I had never even heard of a debit card. All I ever used to buy anything was the green stuff, not a card.
You will graduate high school exactly 30 years after Mommy and I did. It will be the year 2029.
I’m wondering by the time you’re 18, if using cash to buy something will be as obsolete as land line phones, video rental stores, or writing checks.
To you, money may simply be a debit card. (We are Dave Ramsey followers so the thought of a credit card is taboo in our family.)
As for me, I grew up seeing how much each individual bill was worth. I knew that I preferred a $10 bill over a $1 bill. The numbers meant something more… certainly quantifiable.
For you, though, the concept of money will be much different if you grow up using a debit card instead of cash. When you look down at a debit card, you won’t literally see a sign noting $20.
Therefore, it becomes your parents’ responsibility to teach you the importance of budgeting. We must incorporate in your mind that a debit card does not symbolize simply the total amount of money in the account, but more importantly, it symbolizes the key to accessing the specific amount set aside for that exact purchase that particular day.
Mommy and I have definitely had to learn the hard way when it comes to money. But this week, we are paying off our other car.
Then, we’ll just have the rest of my student loans before we’re debt-free.
I think it’s cool to see you scan your debit card like Mommy and Daddy. I really look forward to teaching you how money works; even if it’s without getting our hands on cold, hard cash.
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