I’m very proud of my oldest daughter Arwen.
She managed to save up birthday, babysitting and work money to the total of nearly nine thousand dollars by the time she turned eighteen.
I didn’t have that kind of money when I was eighteen.
We are budgeters, which means we shop around for the best prices of insurance, the best prices of food, heck the best prices of everything that has a price. Erin and I enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Freedom University some six years ago and everything changed for our financial situation.
We offer a Dave Ramsey based small group at Venue where the same life changing principles can be learned and would love to get you signed up at this crucial moment in history when everything is being shaken, including our family budgets.
We’ve done our best to pass these principles along to our kids. Arwen has worked very hard to be where she’s at, and we haven’t given her a cent of the resources she has. We subscribe to the idea it’s better for her to learn how to fish than be handed a fish forever, although we’ve provided food and clothing and shelter to the best of our ability over the years.
I had a paper route from the time I was in grade six and it was terrible and cold in the winter but taught me how to work. My dad liked that I didn’t think the world owed me something. Every day I’d ride my bike and deliver papers and earn a single dollar.
Everything extra I’ve ever paid for I’ve worked out how many hours of work it takes since grade six. I also really appreciate everything I have because of it.
I was working odd jobs in the summer since fourteen and full time since fifteen. I never considered myself a hero because my friends were farm kids and all worked too. From the time I was in high school the teacher would go around the room on the first day back and ask what everyone did all summer.
My friends and I would smile and shrug and say “Work?”
But we always had money to spend too.
Arwen now has part time jobs that require her to get around and Erin wants her car back that’s being constantly borrowed, so I’ve been helping Arwen figure out the best way to go about getting a car.
“You can steal one, which is cheap but then you feel guilty and lose your personal freedom, so I’d recommend buying one” is a conversation we didn’t have, but would have been funny if I’d have thought of it a month ago.
Now it should be noted Arwen is turning into a lovely young woman who does work very hard and is responsible and can handle the responsibility of owning and maintaining a car.
We are currently bouncing from one insurance company to another trying to get a low(er) rate, but YIKES it costs a lot to insure an eighteen year old!
Seeing some of the other kids driving takes a bit of the mystery out of that, but sadly Arwen has to pay the price.
She was working out how much gas and maintenance would cost and asked “How much do things like windshield washer fluid cost?” To which I replied “Oh my goodness, just steal it from the garage whenever I’m not looking:)”
But the rest of the bills are on her.
And I let her decide how much she wanted to spend because it’s her money and she can handle it.
In the coaching years of parenting we try not to create the necessary artificial consequences one creates during the discipline years (like how to keep your kid from getting hit by a car without actually hitting them with a car when they run on the street), now it’s time for her to learn actual consequences and the risk it takes to make it in the real world.
Now, I’ve given her the best direction I can in how to make a deal on a car (I did help her with this one because I’m Irish and Dutch and can talk any price down if you let me open my mouth and start talkin’), but was specific in when to let the seller talk and keep talking (they’ll let out more than they think) and when to walk away from a deal (like when one contending car’s owner didn’t reveal what their carfax did, I’m done talking because how you do anything is how you do everything).
She decided to spend most of her money on a gorgeous little red Jetta from a retiring Dutch couple who live out Ghost Lake way.
So much for sale these days is just being flipped and it’s so hard to do it the way we used to: buy it from a friend who would never sell you a lemon because he had to see you every week.
Arwen initially didn’t want to spend that much, but I went out and drove what is nearly a new car because of the condition it was kept in, and having spoken at length with the owner had very decent confidence that they were honest and fussy people, just the sort I like to buy from.
On the way home riding my motorcycle I called my buddy Edwards and ran the idea by him. He’s a mechanic and car guy and felt like it wasn’t a bad idea for my daughter.
I called Arwen and said she should maybe consider it.
She did and now it’s sitting in my garage waiting for insurance while my SUV is covered in snow.
I couldn’t be prouder of her.
Now all she needs is grandpa to teach her how to drive a stick:)
I’m very proud of my oldest daughter Arwen.