Several weeks ago I was balancing a work day with taking care of my 10-year-old who was not in school at the time and my partner was caring for her mother. So, the day started with my daughter enjoying my commute to work with comments like, “you do this every morning?!” and “when did you wake up again?” She joined me in my office for calls, meetings and all manner of interruptions through the morning; and thank goodness we have technology to keep her busy or she would have been bored to tears!
At lunch, I decided to transition to the home office to break things up for her. So, on the drive, I had a conference call playing through the speakers in the car to remain legal and hands-free. So, my daughter experienced her first corporate conference call. She was fascinated. At one point, a discussion of lending was taking place. This prompted a number of questions: Do we have loans? What types? How much do we owe? When do we have to pay it back? When did you get your first loan? It was a wonderful conversation starter.
As all parents know, as pre-teens begin to mature, conversations start diminishing. Answers to questions move from real answers to the one-word responses of “yes” “no” “maybe” or “kind of” without a lot of detail. My favorite is when I ask “what did you learn at school today?” and the response is “nothing.” Oh my.
So, as the call was continuing, I answered her questions and took the opportunity to project forward to her likely first loan. She has been talking about getting a convertible Volkswagen Beetle as her first car. Since that would not likely be her parent’s first choice, we have told her that if she can save half of the money from allowance and other work, we would pay the other half. So, to offer a lending example, I explained to her that if she did not fully save half, we might be able to loan her difference, and she would pay us back the balance, with interest. I explained how interest works and how payments would be set up and terms. That was a very insightful moment for her. After this chat, I noticed a marked difference in her interest in saving. At 10, I was still perfecting my jump shot, designing my next practical joke, and trying to draw the perfect Garfield, thoughts of loans and my first car were not even in my consciousness. Another example of the next generation’s jumpstart on life.
Have you had any pre-teen money moments to share?