This post may contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.This past week, I had the chance to visit my son’s elementary school during lunch time. It has been a LONG time since I have stuck foot in a lunch room. Wow – that room is loud! Really quickly I realized some lunch time lessons we tend to forget in life.
The teachers were present to keep the lunch room in order. My hats are off to them! They are amazing ladies with a gifted talent (and personally, I am thankful for each of them). They kept control of the chaos to make sure the students did what they needed to do – eat lunch while still enjoying their friends.
After observing the students and the teachers, I realized habits start at a young age. If those habits, don’t change. Then, the cycle repeats. At a very young age, we learn behaviors whether good or bad. It is a matter of choosing which path we want to live.
So, you are probably wondering what does a grade school lunch room and money have in common??? I’m going to unpack four lessons learned in grade school that people struggle with in their money life.
4 Grade School Lunch Time Lessons + How They Related to Money
The first lesson is discipline. The kids know the expected behavior in the lunchroom. As adults, we know how much we make and how much we can spend. It takes discipline to sit down and actually eat lunch vs. throwing food and chatting with friends then no food is ate. With money, it takes discipline to stay within a budget or as I prefer to call it – Cents Plan.
In today’s society, there are many ways to fast cash whether by using credit cards, payday loans, or even a home equity loan. It is super easy to rack up thousands and thousands of dollars in debt in a short amount of time. While it may be fun spending all of that fast cash, it comes at a steep price called interest. Discipline is living within your means.
2. Pushing the Boundaries
Oh, children are the best at the second lesson! How far can I push the boundary? At what point, do I actually cross the line? During my time in the lunch room, I observed student after student trying to push the boundaries. Remember, they have wonderful teachers who have taught them the expected behavior. However, it is natural behavior as humans to test the boundaries.
With money, pushing the boundaries typically starts out small. $20 over on groceries this month. $100 on eating out because we had to celebrate a birthday. Picking up that one item just because it is on sale even when there isn’t enough money to cover the basic expenses. Then, after time, it starts a snowball effect. It just keeps rolling and rolling, getting bigger and bigger until the person is smothered in debt.
With money, is pushing the boundaries truly worth it? Why should you test your own boundaries when money is at stake? The answer is no. Stop pushing the boundaries. In the end, you are only hurting yourself financially by testing the limits and causing undue stress.
Um, hello? Are you listening? Still reading? Good! Yes, focus in the third lesson. The lunch room serves one primary purpose – fill up the belly with food before the next class comes in. However, my observations proved that was the last priority on any of those kid’s agendas. Thankfully, the wonderful teachers were present to provide guidance and focus them back at the task on hand. Did it take one reminder? Um, no. Many reminders to stay focused on their primary purpose.
In our society, there are SO many distractions than ever before. Plus the distractions will keep growing exponentially as technology advances and history has proven. So, what does that mean for you and your money?
Develop a plan and stay focused. Don’t stray. Don’t let others change your plan. Focus.
When we paid off our student loans, we were focused on ONE thing. Pay off our loans as soon as possible. Thus, freeing up cash flow in our Cents Plan. We didn’t stray. No changing our minds when things got tough. We stay focused on our vision – PAY OFF OUR STUDENT LOANS.
Teachers through grade school help keep kids accountable. They were present in the lunch room making sure chaos didn’t break out. These teachers provide a firm guiding hand with a huge dose of caring love.
Wouldn’t it be great to have an accountability standard to money? Unfortunately, we don’t have many great examples around us. The U.S. Government is trillions of dollars in debt. Most Americans carry debt on their shoulders while living paycheck to paycheck. We haven’t been taught to be accountable with money.
The first step to be accountable with money is an accountability partner – either your spouse, friend, or a coach. Someone who will keep your best interests in mind. The second step is to have benchmarks to hold yourself accountable to. Understand the meaning to “Where Cents Parallel Vision” and how to apply it to your life. Make sure to set long-term visions with short-term attainable goals. Also, journaling your journey is great way to stay focused and track progress!
The four lunch time lessons and money are discipline, stop pushing the boundaries, focus, and accountability. All of these lessons we learned early in life, but still need reminders on a constant basis. In order to succeed with money and become financial free is to learn the lessons taught in grade school. We don’t have teachers watching over our every move to guide us. We need to remember why it is so important to stay disciplined, stop pushing the boundaries, stay focused on our plan, and find accountability.
I am thankful to all of the teachers who dedicate their lives to enriching student's lives. Each and every one of you make this world a better place! Thank you.
Related Post: Teach Kids about Money over the Summer
One of the benefits to the Money Bliss Steps to Financial Freedom it provides all of the steps learned in our grade school lunch time lessons. The steps are to be done in order, therefore, stay focused on the current step and not be distracted. Ten steps to walk through your life’s journey. They won’t happen overnight. Just like in grade school… you took one grade at a time, learn what in needed to advance to the next grade. The Money Bliss Steps are developed to build upon one another and lay the foundation to financial freedom.