Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why giving money is not teaching proper financial responsibility

I have a co-worker Eric who is the nicest and sweetest person ever. He has a little sister who started work about 2 years ago. He has taken on the responsibility of teaching her how to manage her finances. Through bits and pieces he's told me, I feel that he’s not getting on at all.

Eric’s idea of teaching about financial responsibility is to pick up the slack where his sister falls short.

He contributes to her RRSPs (401K) because she doesn’t make enough. However, she just went on a big trip to Europe.

The other day he was looking to buy her a new car because she crashed her old one. What about insurance? Well, the insurance HE got her wasn’t any good because she’s got too many red-light and speeding tickets.

What he is doing is actually the opposite of what he wants. By paying into her RRSPs he’s giving her the impression that she can have her cake and eat it too. It makes her think that she can keep living the life she is living now - nice cars, big trips- and save enough for retirement. This she actually can't do on her own income since bro is supplementing that income.

Also, coming to the rescue whenever she’s in trouble doesn’t make her realize the consequence of her actions. A red-light ticket is $298 (I know because I got one). I think of that $298 every time I’m tempted to step on the gas at an amber light. My friend’s car died and he took the bus for a month before he found another good car he could afford. We learnt from our mistakes because we had to suffer for them. That’s something Eric’s sister doesn’t have to do.

I'm glad I have this blog. Because sometimes I feel like pointing this out to Eric, but I shouldn't. It isn't my business. Also, it probably won't help because it's hard to be objective when it comes to our loved ones.


SavingDiva said...

I agree that blogging makes me a better friend! I don't blab to my friends about my money...and I don't lecture them about their poor money choices...I just blog about it!