By Karen Piercy, AFA
My mum said, at age 18, as long as you have a job, you should move out from home and live independently. I told my step-children that the best thing your parents can do, is give you the skills to live independently, as your parents won’t be around forever.
My stepson lived with us in his teens and then when employed, moved to his own flat. A couple of years later he asked to move home again so he could save up to go and live in Australia. He was the worst flatmate in the world as I knew from past experience. You would enter his room at your peril. He was also not the best with money living from pay day to pay day. So, we sat down together and did a realistic budget, listing income and expenses to work out his savings plan. We worked out how much he needed and the timeframe to achieve his goal. Then being his wicked stepmother, I booked his flight to Australia for that date. He had no choice but to achieve his goal, stayed accountable to me for his spending and achieved his savings target.
Ten years later, he is very happy with his Australian girlfriend and they have bought a house together. She is a mini-me and does all their budgeting, so together they have been achieving their financial goals. I visited his home in Brisbane and my jaw fell to the ground as the place is immaculate. His girlfriend does the housework and he does the cooking. He also gave me a big hug and thanked me for helping him, saying he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for me. Perhaps I am not such a wicked stepmother after all.