The parable of the wise parents

Okay, it’s more of an anecdote than a parable. But it’s an important one anyhow:

Our daughters are 15 and 17. Most of their friends are very concerned about their parents’ financial situations and tell me their parents have too much debt. Whether their parents know it or not, these kids know exactly what is going on and they are scared.

My oldest daughter told me this week that her friend “K”‘s mother is jealous of me. I asked her why, and she said her friend’s mother thinks I never worry about money and seem carefree. I told my daughter that is only because we don’t have debt.

I reminded her of the years when her friend K’s family went on cruises while we were tent camping in a state park. I told her that her dad and I made a decision when we first got married that we weren’t going to buy anything, not even a car, until we had the cash to buy it.

We previously had a mortgage, but we paid it off in 13 years. I told her we just didn’t want the stress. She gave me a hug and walked away without saying anything.

What you give your kids isn’t limited to the material possessions you give them. In fact, those are the least important things you can provide.