Thursday, June 14, 2012

Throwing Good Money After Bad

About a year ago, my wife re-entered the workforce after thirteen years of being a full time mom, community leader and volunteer.

We were recently discussing the change in the “vibe” in our household.  Piles of mail, lists of errands and tasks building up and just purely not enough time to wiggle everything in that we used to do.  Some things were going to have to get dropped.  Our oldest daughter is a few months away from being able to drive independently – an unwitting chauffer in training!

Our thoughts went to people less fortunate than us financially and single parents.  How do they do it?  If two of us can’t do all the kid stuff we want to get done – even with the help of friends - how does just one person do it?  When we can buy dinner because we “don’t have time”, how does a family who can’t buy dinner manage to keep all the balls in the air?

And then we came to a thought.  Does our society financially reward people who ignore their children? As the expenses and time commitments tied to the kids activities escalate, we would clearly have been better off financially just explaining to the kids that we can’t afford them anymore and moving on. 

One friend recently told his daughter that he didn’t think she was good enough at her activity to continue “to the next level”.  Do we treat our kids like we treat our cars:  too expensive to fix.  When it comes to our kids, is it even possible to “throw good money after bad”?

Kids and families aren’t financial assets.  I am just so happy that we have the ability financially to live our lives according to that belief.

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