Elder Boy moves into his own apartment this Saturday and starts college and a new job Monday. I’m actually looking forward to it, but at the same time I worry.
Does he realize the responsibilities he has taken on? Does he understand the money, time and dedication required to do what he is proposing to do? Probably not. I told him a long time ago I would supply everything he needed until he graduated from school. The things he wanted would have to come second and he would need to save his money for them. He never saved. In fact, he is still in awe of his little brother who, at eleven years old, has saved hundreds of dollars and still manages to not spend it.
He does, however, understand the freedom he will gain – or thinks he will gain. Since he has turned 18, and even before then, we have been extremely lenient with him. He came and went pretty much as he pleased as long as he went to school, did his homework and wasn't beating down the front door at 2 am because he had forgotten his key. He is, overall, a good kid so I wasn't too worried about this. I am worried that he consistently chose what he WANTED to do over what he SHOULD do.
Now he’s moving into his own apartment. He will no longer be living by our rules, instead trading those in for the rules of his landlord (who won’t be so lenient) and the expectations of his new roommate.
He will have to learn to budget his money – something he has never been very good at.
He will have to wake up ON HIS OWN – another thing he has never been good at.
He will REGULARLY have to do his own grocery shopping, his own cooking, his own cleaning and his own laundry.
With all of this, he will still have to make time to concentrate on his college grades.
We've discussed credit, money, banking, bills, pay schedules, etc. with him but I don't think much has really stuck with him. He got the same talk from our insurance agent when we got him signed up for car insurance (for a Jeep his grandpa was nice enough to let him have). I'm not sure how much of that conversation stuck with him either (his mind was probably just on driving the Jeep later that day).
We've been saying "trial by fire" around this house for a long time when talking about Elder Boy. I'm worried his "wants" will once again win leaving his "needs" in the dusty trail behind him. If only he'd give more thought to his future...