I agree with you on the importance of earning your own money, Yonuh. Thinking about that reminded me of another important thing my parents did with the goal of training us kids on the value of money. It was so effective, I used it with my kids. too.
This was the concept of my parents agreeing to pay for HALF of something that I dearly wanted, and I had to come up with the rest of the money.
As an example, when I was a junior in high school, my French class (we were all 4th year students) decided that we wanted to participate in one of those "student summer abroad" programs.
I don't recall what the "investment fee" was, but it was probably around $750 all told, for the six week program, including classes, food and bus travel once we got there; plus the airfare to and fro. This did not include, of course, any money we wanted to spend on presents for family, or stuff we wanted for ourselves.
There were about 30 kids in our class, and we started planning for the trip a year before we actually went.
I believe most of my classmates had their fees paid by their parents, though maybe grandparents chipped in, too. MY parents said they would pay for HALF of the trip cost - and that I'd have to come up with the remainder - plus any spending money - by saving any gift money I received during the year, as well as saving the money I earned from working in a department store doing alterations.
(I got paid slightly more than minimum wage, but in 1969, minimum wage was $1.30/hour.
So my goal was to come up with $375, plus my spending money. It was a LOT of work, and I think my grandparents were extra generous with their gifts to me that year. But in the end, I managed to come up with the required funds, plus about $150 for spending money.
And the trip is seared in my brain to this day. Most likely because I had such a personal stake in it.
Oh, in all honesty, I need to add this was a real learning experience, as I spent MOST of the spending money during the first five days, while we were in London and Paris -- before we even got to the University of Grenoble, where we studied.
This was a mistake, because the food at the dorm was AWFUL - once we experienced it we ended up eating cold cereal in our dorm rooms, or going out to eat.
I know all kids complain about dorm food -- but this was more than awful: They served us stuff like tripe
, which we had never even heard of at home -- and I recall biting into an apple and seeing half a wiggling worm in the reminder of the apple.
I got very sick while I was there, and was afraid to go to the doctor. This was a blessing in disguise with regard to my finances, as I wrote home about it -- and my grandfather, the doctor, sent me a cashier's check for $200. Beyond that, the lack of funds triggered my entrepreneurial spirit.
I made money off my fellow students by buying Coca Cola in liter bottles at a department store in town, and selling it to my classmates (not just my friends from home, but also OTHER American students who were also studying in the same program) at times when they were thirsty. (Like on a train to Rome, or at the beach in Italy.)
So these experiences were A LOT like those experienced by the students in article Orchid provided to start this conversation. But mine were real and practical, though not necessarily fun - and they stick with me to this day!