Today I had to do something that was so humbling, it took me a few hours to process the feelings.
I had to ask my own children, who are just 6 and 9, for a loan.
Times have been very rough at this castle. I have struggled with my ADHD without medication for nearly eight months now. In the spring, during a rough quarter of graduate school, I backed out of nearly all my freelance writing jobs. In June, I backed out of all but one (I’m still writing four articles a month for FiPath.). I am attending school this summer and my university just switched from quarters to semesters which means my tuition went up…a lot. My student loan money did not increase.
Money is VERY tight right now.
After finding out about an issue with my internet provider, my bill came to me this month at $108. Apparently I hadn’t been paying it for a few months, unknown to me and they decided to shut it off this weekend. I understand shutting it off after no payments for three months, I do. BUT I didn’t know about this until four weeks ago. After getting fees credited and a payment to be rejected, I was told to wait until my bill ran again before I pay it. I did that but it wasn’t in enough time, service was disconnected on Friday. (and another fee assessed, I’m just going to swallow that one)
My cell phone bill is behind as well. It was a bit larger than normal from the month of June for a number of reasons and I haven’t had the funds to pay it.
All of these things added onto my already very low checking account (I haven’t worked my part time job in nearly 2 months for a few reasons, one of which is lack of actual opportunities when I didn’t have the kids.) has made me very stressed about money right now.
I need to pay my internet bill as well as my cell phone bill and student loan money isn’t coming for another three weeks. I only estimate $300 in earnings coming to me in that time as well. So I decided to borrow money from my kids’ banks.
I sat down on the floor and told them that I was going to need a loan from their piggy banks BUT when I pay them back in a few weeks they’ll be getting more than I borrowed. I used this time to explain to them how interest works and that for them, it’s a great investment because they don’t really need the money right now.
I may have turned this issue into a teaching moment for them but having to admit that mommy was low on cash was very humbling. I’ve been trying to put on a good face for them since we moved out of my mom’s house a year ago. I want them to feel more secure (and I think they do) and not hear “no, I don’t have the money” so often.
The kids both agreed that it was fine for me to borrow the money, wanted to know how much they’d get back and then hugged me tight.
Do I have the best kids or what?
I learned a lot from this conversation with my kids but I wonder if I’m teaching them something good or not? I try to explain to them the importance of a savings account, yet I can’t manage to keep one for longer than a couple of months before dipping into it. I try to use my mistakes to show them the right way to do things, like I do with this blog. I really hope I’m succeeding.
What do you think? Should I have stayed away from the kids’ money? Am I teaching them a bad lesson?
Image Credit: –Sam– on Flickr
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