Can’t Buy Me Love

Dear Thomas

A couple of months ago we opened your very first bank account. It’s a place for to save any monetary gifts your receive, or earnings from future jobs. It’s also the beginning of your long education about money management, and so I’ve thought a lot since then about exactly what it is I want to teach you.

Money is an inescapable part of modern civilised society. We need it to help secure the basic necessities of life – a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our tummies. You’ll find plenty of advice forthcoming from a variety of sources about avoiding credit, saving for what you want and not spending beyond your means. That’s all good, sound advice because a lack of money or spiralling debt can be the source of enormous stress and anxiety. Far better, of course, to avoid getting in to such a situation if at all possible and this is something that I hope you’ll pick up naturally, from watching how your Dad and I handle our family finances.

On the flip side, however, you need to know that whilst having money can bring you a feeling of security, it doesn’t guarantee you freedom from stress or, indeed, happiness. And most importantly of all, money cannot buy you love.

Money is not what brought you here, in to our lives. You must know by now that when you arrived you brought with you more joy than I’ve so far been able to find the words to properly articulate. No amount of money, no quantity of material possessions, and no number of exotic holidays could possibly have equalled what you have given us and what you continue to give each and every day. No price can be put on the love I feel for you. Your value, and that of our other family members, is so much greater than any other single thing in my life. I’d like you to learn that nothing that you think you want is as precious as the things that money cannot buy – the special people and relationships in your life.

If you can learn to always put the happiness of those that you really care about above all else, it will be all the motivation that you need to work hard enough to ensure you can provide the basic necessities to keep those people safe. And if you can remember to value people and love more highly than inanimate objects, it will help you to assess the true importance and worth of the things that you want to spend money on.

I expect you to make many mistakes along the path of your life, for how else are you to learn? Money management is no exception, and you won’t always get it right. You’ll waste money at times and will be tempted to buy unjustified luxuries, items which give you very little return, or bring only a short term happiness. Your bank balance may go down as well as up. There will be lean times and difficulties. But throughout it all, little man, my love for you will always be as rich as the day you were born.

This is all for the future of course, as I don’t expect you to grasp any of what I’m saying for quite a few years yet. But if I were to try to explain it in more simplistic terms that you’d have a chance of understanding right now, I’d ask you which you prefer: a new Thomas train for your train set, or Mummy? I could easily spend money on a new train for you, and I’ve no doubt that it would bring immense joy to your little soul and an enormous grin to your face. But equally I know that a cuddle with me is a simple pleasure and the happiness it brings will be reflected back to me in your smiles and giggles. I know what you can’t yet understand: that in a few years time, the train will be cast aside in favour of the next big thing, but you won’t get rid of me that easily.

Spend your money wisely, Thomas, but be generous with your love and more will find you in return.


Mummy xx


This is my entry in to the Think Money Bloggers Competition asking What’s the Most Important Lesson to Teach Kids About Money? Follow the link to see how to enter for your chance to win £250 worth of vouchers.


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