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EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is George Baileys' weekly report on he and his wife's efforts to teach their kids financial freedom.
This whole process of finding ways to teach my kids about the importance of saving for large purchases has been enjoyable, even if I've been a bit of a failure at it. But I'm going to keep on plugging along because life has taught me that there's value in perseverance ("Life has taught me the value of growing fat in a snake tank" — Asclepius, the pet snake).
As I've been toying with how to make the idea of saving money more real for my kids, it's been helping that I've been discussing the matter with acquaintances and colleagues. One such conversation ended with my friend Nash telling me that he likes my idea of keeping pictures of coveted items on my phone that I can show to my children any time they're tempted to impulse-buy. However, he suggests that my kids need a dream board.
Nash sells real estate and has his own dream board. He looks to it for motivation to work harder so that he can make some nice purchases. I didn't ask Nash what's on his own dream board, but I can imagine that it likely has the same stuff that any other ambitious salesperson has: a sports car, a mansion, a hammock between two palm trees, a Bob Ross Chia Pet. You know—the life!
If I had my own dream board, it would likely bore the living daylights out of my children because my desires in life are pretty simple. It'd probably look something like this:
I suppose there's some stuff money cannot buy.
In any case, I don't want my kids to set their hearts on things, but I'm not sure how to appeal more effectively to their frugal instincts than raw materialism. For now, I'm content with the idea of putting the dream board to real use.