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The Summer Is Winding Down But The Money Talks Are Ramping Up!

August 19, 2015


This post is 2 years old but the message is NOT!

Back to school time has a way of encouraging even the most frugal parent to spend more than she wants.

Instead, use it as a learning opportunity to teach your kids (and yourself) to be smarter with money. Good luck!

I’ll admit it- I’ve been very lazy this summer with my blog posts (or lack thereof).  I won’t even try to make excuses for my behaviour… like the fact that I don’t have my regular computer at our family cottage,  I’ve been sleeping too late or spending too much time on the golf course!

Instead, I’m making a promise to my patient readers that I’ll do better, starting NOW! A blog post each week should be perfectly doable, I hope?!  So, there’s my goal and, now that I’ve told you all, I’d better deliver!  Funny how having a simple, achievable goal can refocus our attention and rejuvenate our mind.

Same can be true for our money.

The summer, for me, is a time when I can watch my bank account grow without too much effort. Wish I could say that for the rest of the year! Chalk it up to staying out of the stores, enjoying the nice weather and more home-cooked, barbecued dinners. The other day, after I paid my daughter’s final year of university tuition, I knew everything had changed! The bills are flowing in again and I need to refocus on my money.

As back to school time arrives and a multitude of new expenses, its time to pay attention again to our financial health. Do the children really need new outfits and school supplies if last year’s models are acceptable? Its a perfect time to engage the kids in a productive conversation around money and choices. And, most importantly, they MUST understand that everyones’ priorities are different.

When my daughter was young, one of her best friends had a beautiful and substantial wardrobe. This girl was the envy of her neighbourhood friends and always the first to buy the latest of everything. Was she popular because of her clothes? I remember my daughter continually nagging me for new clothes just like her friend.

Instead of giving in to her wishes,  I grabbed a learning opportunity to talk about the choices we all must make with our money.

Our family had chosen to make an annual ski vacation one of our important priorities. I reminded my daughter of this and mentioned that if I spent more money on clothes we would need to spend less on other things like skiing. The conversation continued about how families make choices and have different priorities for their money. While my daughter wasn’t necessarily happy with the outcome, I know she understood it.

Many years later, we still have these conversations. My daughter and I don’t always agree with each other’s money choices, but it’s the awareness around money and thought process that really matters.

Enjoy your final days of summer. And, once September hits (or even now), make a promise to yourself to get smarter with money!

Proud founder of this blog Let’s Talk About Money, Patricia Gass, CPA, CA, provides personal finance coaching and education to improve your money skills. Follow her on linkedin, twitter or pinterest

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