I've talked before on here about how my family of origin impacted my view of personal finance (short version: Dave Ramsey, no debt, cash spending, etc.). What kind of money legacy do I want to leave to Baby M?
I would say "no debt" here except I don't want her to feel like a failure if she takes out student loans or a mortgage (I had to struggle with some of that myself). Some debt is useful in achieving long term goals, and used properly, is a good tool to have in one's financial arsenal.
Instead of relying on credit to help in emergencies, I would like to teach Baby M to rely on herself by creating a financial cushion that she can use to replace a broken-down car, quit a job she hates, or take advantage of an amazing opportunity to travel.
Fun in this life
As they say, you can't take it with you, so I would like to encourage Baby M to also enjoy life while she's here. There's no point in eating lentils three times a day just to die with millions in the bank. Spent responsibly, money can buy great experiences and help loved ones.
Now, how am I going to develop this legacy for Baby M?
Well, to start, I will model these behaviors for her. Children learn best by example, so Peanut and I will be examples of all three aspects of the legacy we'd like her to have. We've started a college fund for her to get her started in her adult life with minimal student loan debt. We will be teaching her financial literacy in age-appropriate ways throughout her life and helping her establish a savings habit. And, of course, we'll show her some of the fun stuff that money can buy - within reason!
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