Back to school

It’s that time of year again where the kids are all getting ready to go back to school. I’m sure that the shopping malls are going to swarming with parents and children as they buy school supplies. I remember those days where I would be shopping for school clothes and school supplies. It was something that, sadly I looked forward to. I try not to bother my parents for money but it seems like my younger brothers are in a different mentality.

Money is tight around my parent’s house so I try to help out when I can. My mom told me that my two younger brothers need shoes for the new school year. Their old pairs of shoes are starting to get worn out. I gave money to my mom so that she could take my younger brothers shoe shopping but it turns out that I shouldn’t have done that. I should have taken them shopping myself.

A couple of days ago, I asked my mom if she had a chance to go shopping with my younger brothers. She said that my youngest brother didn’t need shoes this year since he said that his shoes from last year are still good. Instead, my other brother used the money to buy shoes. When my mom told me how much he spent, I started to get a little mad.

My brother thought it was necessary to buy $140 pair of shoes. When I asked him why he spent so much money on shoes, his reply was, “because that’s how much it cost.” That got me even more upset. This kid does not appreciate the value of a dollar. I gave my mom money in hopes of helping with their school supplies. I wasn’t expecting them to waste the whole thing on one pair of shoes. I have to work about two days to make that much money and he blows it all in a matter of minutes.

My youngest brother is more responsible with his money. It’s a little odd to hear that he knows more about money than his older brother but it’s true. A few Christmas ago, I told him that if he saved up for half the cost of an Xbox 360, I would pitch in the other half and get him one for Christmas. Sure enough, he had more than half saved up. I didn’t take his half to buy him the Xbox. I only said that so that he would save up. Ever since then, he has been saving up to buy whatever he wants. Mostly, it’s been video games but as least he knows how to save up for what he wants.

The other brother, unfortunately, does not know how to save up. He has a cell phone which he can’t afford air time on and the only reason why he wanted to buy it was so he could be reached by my mom when he’s out. That’s not a good reason to buy a cell phone. All he uses it for is text messaging any way. That’s just money going down the drain when he could be saving it. He’s planning on going to college next year but he doesn’t have a single penny saved up. He knows how much it’ll cost but he hasn’t started saving up. He plans on finding a summer job before college starts but that plan sounds a little last minute.

I have a feeling that my brothers don’t fully understand things because I didn’t do a good job as a role model. From what I can tell, their behaviour mirrors those of my first and second brother. I wasn’t around the house much because I was either at school or at work. I think that if I spend more time upstairs in the living room instead of being cooped up in my room, I would have played a better role. For that, I am trying to make up now by teaching them a little bit about their finances. I just hope that I can get through to them in time before they throw their lives away.