I was buying a bottle of Coke at a shop near our church on Sunday. I gave him one IDR 100.000 ($7) note and he asked me if I have smaller note, I said no. Then he started saying that he hears that all the time, that people are saying they don’t have smaller notes so they can sort of change their bigger note into smaller ones.
I said, I’m not lying. I only have that one piece of note with me, that’s my budget for 2 weeks. I don’t have cash other than that one note. Then he asked me, what if a relative came over and needed some money? I said, if I don’t have then I can’t give them right? He said, well you have to give them, no matter what and where you get the money from.
Wow… Easy man.
Then he said, if you limit (budget) your cash like that, then you’ll get bullied, everybody will talk behind your back and start stepping away from you. I told him, if we care too much with what everybody says about you, then you’ll be digging your own grave (well, I didn’t bluntly say that).
This is what happen with most Indonesian. We care too much with our images. We have to look good in front of other people. Budgeting is a strange term for us. And when we do budgeting, people will laugh at us. There’s still very little awareness of budgeting in our mindset.
In Indonesia, budgeting means stingy and cheapskate. It’s a bad reputation for us 🤣
My boys don’t get pocket money for school and they got laughed at school. Especially my teen boy, Abe. He’s in 7 grade and ALL of his friends have pocket money. Sometimes he asked me why he doesn’t get pocket money and I told him that he doesn’t need it. He bring lunch from home and our house is 5 minutes away from school. And he sure doesn’t want to get sick over some unhealthy food that people sell at school.
And while other kids are showing off their new expensive phones at school, Abe doesn’t bring his (hand down) phone to school. I tell you, there are so much pressure that kids are getting right now. If I don’t teach them about money as early as I can, the family tree of ‘being dumb with money’ is getting bigger and it’ll be harder to cut down.
I’m teaching them of being frugal (not cheapskate), wise (not stingy), and I want to them to see money as a gift from God for them to manage so they can lend and not borrow.
Me and hub is being raised as most Indonesian so we ourselves have a lot to learn. We made our mistakes and we need to make a stop at it. It’s never too late to change to be better coz we’re leaving a legacy to our boys. And it’s not the one that our parents left us with.
We are cutting the tree and grow a new healthier tree. Yes, it won’t be easy but God promise that we will sow what we reap.