The scene was a ‘girls night out’ were the girls of the family went out to run errands and grab a bite to eat. This exchange took place :
Mom asked her daughter(11 years old) how she and her friends were getting along. The daughter said that everything was fine, but sometimes she wished she had a cell phone as a lot of her friends got one or an updated one for Christmas. Nobody in the family has an expensive cell phone right now, and Mom continued on and asked if it bothered her a lot that she doesn’t have one. Then came this beautiful reply.
She responded with “sometimes, but not really. I don’t see why they pay to “text” their friends when it’s pretty much the same as e-mailing. I can e-mail for free. So why pay for it? And why do they need one right now. You are always there when I need you, so I don’t have to call and find out where you are or when you are picking me up, we always have that worked out. I think they are just wasting money.”
Mom didn’t quite know what to say and just smiled as they ate their Arby’s 4 for $5 dinner.
So much great stuff in there :
- Mom was intentional about the time she spent with her children. It would have been easier to run errands with out the children around, but they need that type of interaction and learning. Opportunities to parent happen much more frequently when you intentionally create opportunities were the relationship can move deeper.
- They didn’t need to do something fancy, the relationship was the most important part of the equation.
- Mom took an interest in her daughter’s life and was willing to go past the surface. She could have just stopped at the cell phone complaint, but she didn’t. Even if the daughter gave a different answer it would have been a great time to help guide her.
- Mom had already set a good financial example. The daughter knew were the family stood on money issues and what was really important to them.
- Mom lived her values. The daughter trusted that Mom would always be there and that only comes from years trust creating experiences.
- The daughter isn’t defined by what she has or by what her friends do, but she defines herself at least partially by her family and can be her own person.
Money and frugality is there to free ourselves for these types of moments in life. Money can’t create this type of beauty!