In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Lessons for Your Kids
Billy and Akaisha
Take it as a gift.
Recessions give us
opportunities to reorganize ourselves in ways that are more productive and
responsible. One of those areas could be a correction in our financial values --
and those that we are imparting to our children.
The days of being blissfully
unaware of what something costs may be behind us, but that's not necessarily a
bad thing. If you are a time-crunched parent who fell into the trap of granting
your children their every wish, you may find it's harder to do when you're
anxious about the economy, your job, and your own ability to retire from the
If financial reflection has
revealed habits you would like to change about how you spend money on your kids,
you are not alone. Helping your children to develop important money skills like
budgeting and saving is a goal worth pursuing and a win-win situation for the
Since parents play the
greatest role in teaching young people about money, tightening the family's belt
could be a gift in disguise.
If you can no longer keep up
the financial pace you have set, it's time to look at your spending philosophy.
Do you know what drives your financial decisions?
There is no shame in paring
down superfluous spending, and financial prudence brings an awareness to your
life that can't be purchased. What better tool could you provide your children
than training them to become an intelligent consumer and investor? Do your
children know the difference between a want and a need?
Even if you think your kids
pay no attention to you at all, parents are a powerful force in shaping their
children's approach to spending. In fact, you are your kids' best hope. Even if
they push back at you, they often do so to find out where you stand.
If you cave in to pressure to
buy instead of working from your personal value system, then your children won't
get the right message. Communicate with your spouse to get your financial
priorities straight. Make sure you are both in agreement so that your children
won't play one of you off the other's weakness. Showing unity in beliefs and
goals is crucial; it's teamwork in action.
Having "the talk"
When should you start talking
to your children about money? There is no better time than now. You will be more
convincing if you speak from your own solid example, rather than from a reactive
position when emotions run high. Look for teachable moments with your children
and take advantage of them.
The following examples could
help you along:
On the occasions when you
decide to eat at home instead of going out, physically show your children the
money you save by making this decision, and what it could be worth in the future
if invested. If you are working toward a family goal, put that money toward the
amount saved so your kids see the goal becoming real and reachable.
If your kids want a new $60
skateboard and a new pair of sneakers and you can only afford one or the other,
let them decide which item is more important. Do not back down from your
financial priorities by purchasing both items just to keep the peace. And if
you're not going to buy the item, explain why. Encourage your children to save
for it themselves, and consider offering to match some of their savings.
If impulse buying was the old
norm for your children, suggest waiting a day or two to think about it instead.
Help them locate the item on sale or find a similar item without the brand logo.
Show your kids the savings between the two prices to illustrate the point.
Teaching responsibility for
financial decisions is crucial to building strong adults. You are not doing your
children a favor by supporting a reality that they will not be able to sustain
when they reach adulthood.
Involve your child
If your kids have received
most of what they've asked for, they won't understand the link between effort
and reward. To get that lesson across, let them manage their own money. You may
find that where your children happily spent your money, they are misers with
their own cash.
Try these tips:
Begin with stating clearly
which expenses you'll pay for, and to what extent. Decide how much you will pay
per month for clothes and how much you will match their savings toward larger
purchases. For younger children, perhaps giving an allowance plus offering
payment for tasks above and beyond their usual chores will work. Then have them
be responsible for a small expense. For teens, encourage them to get part-time
If your children want
something, let them save for it and chart their progress. If it's a large goal
like a musical instrument or a car, speak to them about insurance upkeep and the
pros and cons between used cars and new ones. Discuss the possibility that you
could help out with the remaining third of the price if they save for the other
two-thirds. For longer-term goals of two years or more, you could match them
Allow your kids to be
accountable for purchases. If that scooter, bike, or digital toy bought on
impulse turns out to be a mistake, it's not your job to be a financial rescuer.
Allow your children to complete the process of purchase on impulse, grief, or
disappointment, and then help redirect their financial focus more productively.
Selling that unwanted item on an online auction or Craigslist can help recoup
some of that lost money. Let it be a teachable moment.
Involve your extended
To insure that this new
financial outlook has staying power, enlist aunts, uncles, and grandparents to
participate. When everyone knows what the goals are, it's easier to be on board.
Discussions about money coming from adult family members can be a powerful tool,
and most young people would prefer our time with them over material gifts.
For birthdays and holidays,
why not have grandparents contribute to a college fund? Or aunts and uncles
could write a "sharing check" to your kids, with a portion of the amount to be
shared with a charity of your kids' choosing. This action requires your children
to think about the value of gifts, and the reasons for donating a portion to an
When your kids purchase pet
food for a local animal shelter and then go with you to the shelter with the
donation in hand, this experience makes for a solid memory. It also gives you
time with your kids and lays the foundation for giving and sharing to be part of
The current financial climate
can help you bring a consistency to your heart and to your wallet. There are
countless opportunities to get back on track, and we think you'll find the
rewards to be more than monetary.
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their
time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly
follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha