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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Money Talks with Minnie the Moocher

dv1782025Minnie the Moocher was a 1931 jazz song about a woman who begged for a living. In our family, it reminds us of Sashenka, 16-going-on-3. All she talks about is money and I wonder if it may be our fault.

We don’t talk about finances non-stop. And we are not poor. So we try to strike a balance. We hope for our children to have some understanding of money, that it doesn’t grow on trees.

In her mind, she is one step ahead. Sashenka informs us that she plans on having a roommate one day, ‘someone who can do Minka Kelly stars in Screen Gems' thriller THE ROOMMATE.everything for her’, such as cook and clean and pay her bills.

“Why would they do that?” we ask her.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she giggles.

Any job she can think of will net her millions, while doing practically nothing. Or, better yet, having her minions do her bidding. We parents do everything from discuss her unrealistic ideas, to ignoring her, to outlining balance sheets that explain how much money someone needs to have their basic needs met.

You know, a budget.

She doesn’t like the idea.

leaving-your-jobWe give her situational ethics: you have the opportunity to make enough money to live on, doing an average kind of job. Or, you can make double the money doing a job that you would not normally accept for one reason or another, but you decide to take it because of the finances.

Watching her face, she tries to hide her grin as she meditates on the power of ka-ching, ka-ching. Money in all of its glory.

Who wouldn’t take double the money and run? she wonders.

Because it might be morally objectionable, like leaving your family for long periods of time, never creating true friendships nor having any kind of work-life balance, we inform her.

Maybe you have bills to pay, she replies, as though that thought would never cross our simple minds.paying-bills

Sigh.

We all get that money is about need, not necessarily greed. Let’s be absolutely honest. It’s a necessity and more might be better than less.

But is the Russian orphan persona going to rule the day, or will the middle-class American young adult? Will Sashenka be able to grow up into her full potential, or take the easy way out, trying to trick, charm or con others into taking care of her, as though she had nothing to offer?

How do we turn Sashenka-the-Moocher into Sashenka-the-Strong?

One step at a time, reinforcing that she is braver than she believes, stronger than she seems, and smarter than she thinks. While money might turn her head or ours, we should never sell out simply to the highest bidder.

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