Part four in our series on teaching children about money...
Growing up, I don't remember any formal discussions ("Now we will talk about ___") about debt. It was more a comment here and a decision there that made me realize debt is a bad idea.
If I we didn't have money for something, it was a chance to be creative or live without it. Borrowing money was simply not an option.
This did result in some amount of naivety: I thought everyone thought like this. It wasn't until the last couple of years that I even began realize how "normal" consumer debt is and how much money people waste paying back debt.
In my family, however, borrowing money wasn't a consideration when making purchases, and that way of thinking was passed on.
When I bought my first car, I paid $500 for a Honda Accord that had a lot of body problems, but was very dependable. It wasn't much to look at, but it got me around while I saved for something nicer. It was far more important for me to stay out of debt than for me to have an impressive vehicle.
I am so grateful that my parents drilled it into me to save before I make purchases, rather than paying afterwards--plus interest. As a result, I have no debt today and my income is free to give, save, and spend as needed.