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I hear you - what used to drive me crazy was the "we're going shopping" (from daughters and wife) What do you need to get? says me. Nothing. What do you need? Nothing. Do you know that people typically wear the same 25% of their wardrobe no matter how many clothes they have ?- so you don't need clothes, right? No, but we might find something. And they usually did. "It was on sale" was a frequent refrain. But at some point, when it was their money they were spending they began to have a bit more discipline, particularly when their account balances were so low they couldn't do certain things. I have had my issues too, I spend more than I need to in book stores or hardware stores - followed my wants instead of my needs. I guess what is needed is to get them to change behavior just enough so that the change (saving) becomes a habit. I appreciate the charts that others have provided in this thread and I have sent them on to my daughters. I think modeling the behavior you want and gentle reminders and providing resources (information) will have some effect. There is great book, by the way, that I really like, not really what kids or young adults will read though - although I did get them to read the introduction - The Simple Living Guide, by Luhr.
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