Shopping with my daughters can be a little challenging at times.
It's not because they're nagging me to buy stuff; those days are practically over.
My girls are a lot thriftier these days and are always watching the way they spend.
That habit comes from my husband, who's a real stickler for frugality. So now when I go to the store, he isn't the only one trying to keep me in check.
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"Mom, you can get that dress for much less at so-and-so," the girls say without hesitation.
It's gotten so bad that my parents quip that my husband has turned the kids into cheapskates.
They can hardly splurge on the girls without hearing, "No, Grandma, that's too expensive."
Though it can be a little unnerving having teenagers rein me in, I have come to appreciate my daughters' frugal ways -- my husband's, too, for that matter.
I wish I'd paid more attention to spending at a young age.
I can only imagine all the money I would have saved. Not that I'm a big spender, mind you. I've always been pretty low maintenance.
Excessive shopping hasn't really been a problem.
But when I do go to the mall or the grocery store, I don't always have the patience to hunt for a good deal, leading me to probably spend more than necessary.
This all brings me to a book that I ran across recently about teaching children about money at an early age.
It's titled "Blue Chip Kids: What Every Child and Parent Should Know about Money, Investing and the Stock Market."
The author, David W. Bianchi, is an investor and lawyer with an economics degree from Tufts University. In the book, he writes about children's lack of knowledge when it comes to economics.
"Schools are simply not doing enough to teach kids the financial skills they will need to thrive in the years to come," Bianchi writes. "They are expected to learn it someplace else. We are turning out 'book smart' kids who know more by the age of 16 than prior generations ever knew at 21, but will they have the financial skills to manage the money they will earn, spend, and invest for the next 50 years? Who's teaching them about that? No one, as far as I can tell, and the research backs this up."
Bianchi raises some good questions and aims to educate children using a fun approach that includes cartoon graphics.
He emphasizes the importance of living within one's means and saving for a rainy day.
I believe books like Bianchi's can be helpful, but it's parents who ultimately teach children how to handle money by how they live every day.
Luckily, in our home, there's at least one parent who has set a good example.
And we're already reaping the benefits.
Alva James-Johnson, 706-571-8521. Reach her on Facebook at AlvaJamesJohnsonLedger.