BC is one my best friends at work. He is a civil engineer cum MBA who qualified after having worked as a general laborer, a brick layer, a plasterer and a site supervisor for a number of years. He is the one all of us look to for technical advice and what BC says is taken as the gospel truth.
He converted to Christianity when he was in his twenties, I think. Since then he has lived life as a good Christian. He has two daughters, and he has dipped deep into his savings to ensure they got an excellent education. The elder girl is a lawyer and presently works in one of our country’s leading legal firms. The younger girl is now in her final year of medical studies in one of the best medical schools in the UK. Both the girls are outstanding students and well behaved. The type that every mother would want their sons to bring home.
The two girls have been very active in Church affairs since young. The elder girl is the Youth leader of her Church, and is very well versed in the Bible.
BC and I have traveled often together and our work is often intertwined. Not surprisingly, we have discussed often our respective journeys in raising our children and doing what we could to ensure they get a better start at life than either of us did. Lately the talk turned to how to inculcate good pf habits in our children. And what BC told me took me aback.
The elder girl gives her mother her entire pay check. (I am not sure if she has her own bank account). Her credit card is a supplementary card under BC’s name. (In all fairness, this has been the arrangement since her University days). She uses the card quite responsibly, for example to pay for a meal with her friends, when they go Dutch. The cash received from her friends as their share is given back to BC. She collects a weekly allowance from BC.
Though she lives below her means, a lot of her expenses are paid for by BC. She has no budget. In effect, BC is still paying for her upkeep. He does not begrudge this, but he is concerned that his daughter may be a little naïve when it comes to affairs of Dollars and Sense.
Historically, BC has been her provider all her life. In a way, BC blames himself for not having given his children some grounding in PF when they were much younger.
Now BC has a feeling that his elder girl seems unable or even unwilling to fit into this secular world. She does not express contentment as a lawyer, but she comes to life in serving the Church. BC feels that his daughter has taken it as a “calling” to serve. To do Theology and to devote her life in the cause of her faith seems to be what she has set her sights on.
BC is sure that she is just waiting for a sign before she embarks on the journey of her life’s calling. As such, pf seems to be not too high in her list of priorities, and she is taking the view of “The Lord will provide”.
Naturally, as a father, BC has no objections. He would be much happier if his daughter took it upon her to have a firmer grasp of pf before she embarks on this journey.
I suggested that he should speak to his Pastor and maybe get the Pastor to speak at a sermon on the need for us to manage ourselves as well as we can, and then seek the Lord’s blessings and provision.
(BC had told me that his elder girl wanted to do Theology rather than Law. It was her Pastor who had suggested she should do Law first, and work. This would allow her to understand better the problems faced by working people. And if she chose to do Theology later, her experience would help her address these problems much better. Sound advice, I thought. )
For some reason, BC believes that approaching the Pastor may not be the best solution now. I remembered Lynnae’s post on “Discerning God’s Will”. I believe there are some similarities in the situation that my friend BC finds himself in.
I am sure that BC’s girls would sort themselves out somehow should push ever come to shove. However isn’t the main point of sound PFM to prepare ourselves ahead of time?
I ask for your help now. I would really like to be able to suggest some ways he could talk to his wife and girls. Ways that weave verses from the Bible with the need for sound PF management. Verses that support the view that we should endeavor and help ourselves as much as we can and then seek the Lord’s blessings.
Please help me to help my friend.
PS: In my earlier draft, I mentioned some names of bloggers whom I thought would be the best people to advise my friend. I have now taken off their names, based on a suggestion by one of the bloggers I contacted. The draft has also been amended a little, after discussions with BC.