Ever gone out to dinner and had a terrible experience?
Of course, we all have. Today was one of those rare occasions that I had lunch and dinner at a restaurant. Oddly enough, both experiences were really bad. I had terrible food for both meals, and one bad attitude server that really didn't care.
Why do I bring this up? Not just to complain, but to share. There was a nice financial and life lesson that my wife brought up to my fifteen year old son after lunch.
We were in the car leaving the restaurant. My wife asked my son if he was embarrassed when we told the manager that the food wasn't good. He said no, but he didn't understand what the big deal was.
That's when my wife gave him a financial lesson.
She explained that each meal was around $8 and for the three of us the meal would be about $30 with tax and tip. She further explained to him that if he worked a minimum wage job and had to pay for that meal, he would have to work over three hours, I saw the light go on through my rear view mirror.
The first lesson was to expect quality or service commensurate with how much you paid. Also, speak up when you didn't get what you were expecting.
How many times did you just take what you were given without saying a word?
I think so many times we forget that we should demand quality and value with every purchase. The degree to which is up to the buyer and seller and that particular transaction. You expect more, the more you pay.
The bigger lesson for my son was about how important it is to spend your hard-earned money wisely. The dollarized example that my wife gave from our real life situation was brilliant. I hope it sank in with him. At times, it can be just important to walk away from a situation that is not giving you value for your money.
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One of the most important things you can teach your children is how to handle their finances wisely. Start them off on the right foot and make them smart savers!
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