The 48 Hour Test

By Jim Fay

Trish and Dad were walking through the mall when Trish spied the most “spectacular” pair of dark glasses.

“Oh, Dad. They’re perfect. They’re just what I need to complete my collection of eye-wear. I’ve got to have them, but I don’t have the money. Will you loan me some? Pleeeeze! I’ll pay you back.”

Dad knew that a loan to Trish was never a loan. In the past, asking for re-payment drew fits and sulking. With this in mind, he knew that he had only three choices:

Loan her the money and fight with her for re-payment.
Give her the money and avoid all the hassle.
Make her sign a promissory note and hope for better results this time.

But wait! Why are these his only choices? Contrary to what the media and advertising says about having it now and paying later, there is another choice. Trish might learn more about money management if she earns the money and buys the glasses later.

A wise father might say, “They are beautiful. I can’t wait to see you wearing them. You can come back for them when you have the money.”

 “But, Dad. I don’t know why you’re so uptight about money. It’s no big deal to loan it to me!”

“You’re right Trish. A big deal is learning how to earn and manage your own money.”

“But, Dad, you just don’t get it. I can’t live without those glasses.”

“Well, Trish. You may have a point there. Maybe we ought to give it the old 48-Hour Test.”

“What’s that?”

“We could leave them in the store for 48-hours and then check to see if you’re still alive. If you are, we’ll know whether or not you can live until you find a way to pay for them yourself.”

“Oh, Dad. That’s stupid. If you love me, you’ll loan me the money!”

“Nice try, Trish, I can’t wait to see if you’re still alive in 48 hours. Let’s find the food court. I’m buying today.”

Learning about money management is a big deal. Teaching your kids about it is a gift that lasts a lifetime. I bet you have friends who could handle money better if their parents had been more like this father.

Learn more tricks like the 48-Hour Test in our book, Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats?, and give your kids a gift that will last a lifetime.