Monday, September 17, 2018

Raising Kids Credit Card Free

My husband and I realized early in our relationship, when I was pregnant with our first yet well before we were married, that we wanted to live our life as debt free as possible. This meant no credit cards, as few loans as we possibly could (we currently only have two: our vehicle and our mortgage), and only having cash. To say it's been easy would be a lie. It took years to save and pay off past debts. We've been living within our means for 10+ years. This is the only life my kids have known. We have made them very aware of how we pay for things and how we can't pay for things if we can't afford it.

There's been very few snags in this lifestyle. That is, until we went to rent a violin for our 10 year old. We went to a recommended music store to rent a violin for the school year. Renting was/is the way to go for the kids who plays piano, is learning guitar (and owns one), and wants to learn saxophone by 8th grade. We decided if he kept playing, we'd purchase one in the future, but for now, renting was a better fit for our needs. 

Imagine our surprise when we were told that a major credit card was needed to rent the instrument. Not a debit card, but a true major credit card. Huh? I was confused, my husband was confused (even after the employee explained the reasoning to us), and the poor employee was even more confused how to handle things without dealing with a credit card. I really stumped the employee when I said if we can't rent the violin because we don't have credit cards, I'll just purchase the instrument outright with cash. This threw a few employees for a loop. Is living without credit cards this unheard of? 

After we got the "issue" taken care of and the violin was in our possession, we had to answer our children's MANY questions about cash, debit cards, and credit cards. Our middle child kept insisting we did have a credit card to use (debit cards) and couldn't understand that if we had the money to just buy it, why couldn't we? There's nothing like trying to explain to your child how "we do things" compared to majority of society.

There's been plenty of explanations about how we do things vs. other people/friends/society (video games, electronics, TV, diet, etc.). However, this was a very confusing topic for our three. It's a big topic to cover regardless and we didn't even scratch the surface. I'd like to share with you pointers on how we spoke with the minis, but honestly, we answered a few basic questions and then changed their focus with questions about what other instruments would be played this school year (we've got drums and ukulele waiting to be played too). 

It's never easy, no matter what the topic is, to explain to children why we're doing things differently than what society tells you is normal. It's very easy to use words and phrases such as "well, the rest of society is wrong about this," but I don't want my children to think of things negatively (this sounds as millennial as one can get). I like to keep conversations positive and tell them all angles of every topic we talk about. I'm fully aware that how I'm raising them may not be how they continue to live their life when they're adults. We can only give them all of the knowledge we possibly can so they can make informed decisions in the future.

So, there you have it. A simple errand to rent an instrument for orchestra turned into a deep conversation about money that turned into mom and dad slyly changing the subject to other instruments that can be played because we didn't want to have the conversation on Sunday Family Funday. Isn't parenting awesome?