Think Money has challenged bloggers to write a letter to their children imparting wisdom about money. I’m not sure how well my “wisdom” will work, but I will at least give it a go …
As you can tell by the stacks of books everywhere in the house, I’ve loved to read from an early age. I can remember once begging my parents – your grandparents – for a pound note (they were green bits of paper, not gold coins as they are now!) so I could get this Disney hardbound book at the sweet shop. When they finally relented, and I held that pound note in my hands – I was the richest person in the world. I probably have that book somewhere in Wales, along with most of the other books that can’t fit in our flat right now.
I didn’t get pocket money as a boy. Your grandmother (A Po) and grandfather (A Gun) were very hardworking, and understood the true value of money – it wasn’t just the thing that paid the bills, it was what took them out of poverty in Hong Kong and into prosperity in Wales. It was precious.
But I was lucky, and occasionally they would indulge my love of books and let me do things like run to the sweet shop like I was a king. And when you want money for books, I don’t think I could ever say no to you. But just as my parents knew that money was precious, so do I. I want you to understand that money isn’t the only thing in this life, but it sure is important, and that it should be respected. Your wants in this life aren’t nearly as important as your needs, and only when your needs are satisfied can you spend what you have left over on your wants.
You are my son, and I will always, always put you first, but I would be failing as a father if I didn’t teach you the importance of saving your money, and of spending wisely. Work hard, love the best things in life (which as we know from the song are free!), and satisfy your needs before thinking about your wants.
This is an entry for Think Money’s Financial Advice Competition. Think Money is an online service that helps young spenders, or people who need a bit more guidance, to make sure their bills are paid and that their individual saving goals are being met.