As kids, most of us dream about what we want to be when we grow up. Even as toddlers, boys play with trucks, cars and fireman, dreaming of the day they can drive that big truck or be a fireman. As that boy grows, so does his dreams. By the time he’s 16, he’s probably dreaming of a sports car, the latest smartphone or the newest and biggest flat-screen TV on the planet.
Especially, during these hard financial times, it’s important to let kids dream, but it’s also important to teach kids limits and how to handle money even at a young age. Too many people are in debt right now. Prior generations lived by the code “ if you can’t afford it, you don’t need it.” Today’s generation has the philosophy of “ We want it. We’ll go get it. We’ll pay it out.” The next generation doesn’t understand why their credit is shot and the bank is foreclosing on the house and repossessing the car. The main problem is lack of contentment.
As Christ walked the earth, he demonstrated over and over to the disciples that God supplies every need. God is always with us. He knows us and He knows what we need. Matthew 6:26 (NIV): ”Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Our family made the decision a few years ago to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice and become debt-free. We are now completely debt free except for the mortgage. It hasn’t been easy. We were a one-car family for almost three years. We’ve made sacrifices and we do without many things other families enjoy. However, we’re never really in need. God provides all that we need when we need it: money for the kids' braces, insurance for medical expenses, extra on the tax refund for a good second car. He knows.
We could go out and finance a new car and buy the latest new gadgets on credit. We could take a fantastic vacation but I look around and know we’re happy and content. God has blessed us immensely and we have everything we need. We don’t go to the movies or out to eat and we don’t take week-long vacations. We’ve learned to make great food at home for about a fourth of the cost of eating out. We watch Netflix movies, play Xbox games, computer games and board games together as a family. On special occasions, we go for a walk in the park or spend the day at our favorite pizza and arcade. We have fun. We love each other and we’re learning to be content knowing that if we don’t have it, we probably don’t need it, but if we do need it, we know God will supply it. He always does.