For the past 10 weeks, I’ve been running an informal book club on the blog devoted to All the Money in the World. You can start at any time; there are links to past weeks at the bottom of the post.
Chapter 10 is the last chapter, so I guess this is the last week! Chapter 10 is called “Ode to a Ziploc Bag.” For an explanation of why Ziploc bags are so fraught for me, you can read this guest post at The Clutter Diet blog. Basically, I grew up learning to be frugal, and Ziploc bags are always a few dollars more than generic sandwich baggies that don’t zip. It was incredibly hard to stand there in the store and buy the Ziplocs that first time, even though I prefer them. I use this insight to get into a few questions. First, how to maintain one’s excitement about little pleasures as you start doing better in life (will I always find Ziploc bags so exciting?), and second, what we’re supposed to teach our kids about money. After all, if I learned my anti-Ziploc mentality from shopping with my parents, what are my kids going to pick up from me?
These are fraught questions. I’m still asking them myself. If you have been fortunate enough to have “enough,” how do you teach your children the value of a dollar? Can you pass on your good financial habits without the bad ones? My husband and I are natural savers, which is good, but we’ve made plenty of questionable decisions in our lives out of a desire to “save” money (often in ways that consume time). Sometimes you do need to invest in things that matter: your career, your happiness, etc.
Anyway, this week’s discussion question is related to that: what financial habits did you pick up from your parents? Which ones do you hope to pass along to your children and which do you hope you don’t pass along?
Links to past weeks:
Photo courtesy flickr user Razor512