It’s been pretty quiet around TeensGotCents lately. It’s been a very difficult time for my family.
My grandfather passed away several weeks ago. It has been so hard to lose someone I loved so much and was such a part of my daily life. As I have been thinking about his life it occurred to me that Papa and how he raised my mom and influenced me is one of the foundational reasons that I started TeensGotCents in the first place. There is huge potential for grandparents and teenage grandchildren to not only have a great relationship but for teens to learn so much about wise money management from them.
When my mom was a little girl Papa gave her an allowance from the time she was very young. He and Mimi taught her how to save some of her money and spend some, and then she taught me the same thing.
Papa also taught my mom to be generous to others and give to those in need and she taught me the same thing.
When my mom turned 13 years old Papa decided to try something he had read about. He had read that giving a young person real financial responsibility would help them become responsible with their money as adults. He decided to follow the plan and made my mom responsible for her own clothing purchases.
He and Mimi gave her a larger monthly allowance so she had the money to buy what she needed and then allowed her to actually have the responsibility. When my brother and I turned 13 she did the same thing with us. This decision is what led me to being so aware about my money and managing it purposefully from such a young age.
When it comes to buying clothes there’s just something about knowing you have a certain amount of money, need certain items, and have to make sure you can get what you need within the budget you’ve been given. This one thing taught me to watch prices carefully, always check the sale racks, and buy what I really need first – then get the things I like.
This type of frugal thinking has spilled over into most areas of my life way beyond just clothing purchases. I am so thankful for my Papa and the choices he made.
When I was born Papa and Mimi purchased a pre-paid college plan for me through the State of Florida. They did the same for my brother. This is making a HUGE difference for me now that I am entering college. I will just have to pay some fees and for my books instead of being responsible for everything.
Papa was also a good example in the way he saved and spent his money. He and Mimi always lived below their means so that they could save money. This is what allowed them to be so generous to their family. Papa took care of us and prepared for his passing a long time ago. He paid for his funeral expenses many years ago and had plenty of life insurance. It feels like he is still taking care of us all even though he is gone.
I guess the main reason I am writing this today is just to remember a small part of the influence Papa had in my life. He was an amazing man and I will always miss him. I also hope that grandparents reading this will understand just how much influence they can have in their grandchildren’s life.
Your example matters. Your grandchildren are watching you and you have the opportunity to make a real difference in their lives through the choices you make. And don’t assume that your teenage grandchildren don’t want your help in learning about money management. If you approach them with respect and let them ask questions it will be a great opportunity for you and for them.
Papa’s financial lessons will live on in my life and the life of my children.
Thank you Papa. I miss you so much,