Today’s fantastic family finance article is:
A Rake’s Progress
Challenge your child to this tricky personal finance vocabulary quiz:
What does the word “spendthrift” mean?
You’ll probably hear something like: “Well, being thrifty is being smart with money. So, combining the words spend and thrift, I’d say a spendthrift is someone who spends wisely.”
Congratulations. Your child is quite logical.
Unfortunately, your child is also quite wrong.
Which is a good reminder that often money behavior and logic don’t go hand in hand.
As it turns out, the origin of the word spendthrift dates back to an archaic time when the word thrift referred to prosperity. So, a spendthrift was someone who frittered away prosperity through reckless spending. Quite the opposite of a thrifty spender indeed!
Speaking of old times, back in the 1700s, the English artist William Hogarth created a series of paintings that some consider the ancestor of the storyboard. The story? An eight panel cautionary tale of Tom Rakewell, the spendthrift son of a rich merchant.
See if your kid can figure out what’s going on in each of the panels. (If you can’t see them below, click here.) Don’t look too closely at panel three!
Stumped? Consult today’s article for the cheat sheet.
The bottom line: Missing the word “spendthrift” on the SAT won’t ruin your kid’s life, but behaving like one just might.
Your challenge? Don’t raise a Tom Rakewell.
Get tomorrow’s tip here.
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