The 48-Hour Test

Lauren and Dad were walking through the mall when Lauren spied the most “gucci” pair of sunglasses.
“Oh, Dad, they’re perfect. They’re just what I need. I’ve got to have them, but I don’t have the money. Will you loan me some? Pleeeeze! I’ll pay you back.”
Dad knew that a loan to Lauren was never a loan. In the past, asking for repayment drew fits and sulking. With this in mind, he knew that he had only three choices:

1.  Loan her the money and fight with her for repayment.

2. Give her the money and avoid all the hassle.

3.  Make her sign a promissory note and hope for better results this time.

But wait! Why are these his only choices? Contrary to what the media and advertising says about having it now and paying later, there is another choice. Lauren might learn more about money management if she earns the money and buys the glasses later.
A wise father might say, “Those look great. I can’t wait to see you wearing them. You can come back for them when you have the money.”
“But, Dad, I don’t know why you’re so uptight about money. It’s no big deal to loan it to me!”
“You’re right, Lauren. A big deal is learning how to earn and manage your own money.”
“But, Dad, you just don’t get it. I can’t live without those glasses.”
“Well, Lauren, you may have a point there. Maybe we ought to give it the old 48-Hour Test.”
“What’s that?”
“We could leave them in the store for 48 hours and then check to see if you’re still alive. If you are, we’ll know whether or not you can live until you find a way to pay for them yourself.”
“Oh, Dad, that’s stupid. If you love me, you’ll loan me the money!”
“Nice try, Lauren. Let’s find the food court. I’m buying today.”
Learning about money management is a big deal. Teaching your kids about it is a gift that lasts a lifetime. I bet you have friends who could handle money better if their parents had been more like this father.
Learn more tricks like the 48-Hour Test in our book, Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats?, and give your kids a gift that will last a lifetime.

Jim Fay