Have you ever had one of those moments where as a parent you just hang your head in shame, because your son or daughter showed more responsibility you? Yeah, I had that happen to me just this weekend.
My son got his Xbox360 a few years ago, and instantly wanted to take advantage of the console’s ability to play games online with his friends. In order to make that happen, we had to purchase an Xbox Live membership. We gave him a year’s subscription as a birthday present, and to pay for it we attached our checking account to the membership. Each year when the membership was about to expire, we would either give him another year’s subscription for a present, or he’d give us the money to pay for it.
As his interest in PC gaming has grown, his use of his Xbox has diminished to almost nothing. I happened to ask him recently if he was going to keep his Xbox Live membership, to which he rolled his eyes and managed to sputter a, “No way. Why would I pay for Xbox Live when I can play with my friends for free on my PC?”
Certainly sounded like a good course of action to me.
I mentioned that we should figure out when his membership was up, and ensure that we set it to not auto renew. Otherwise we’d automatically get charged the $60 for the yearly membership. He said he’d check and let me know. Given he’s a teenager and being responsible isn’t always in his skill set, I wrote “Xbox Live” on my list of things to do so that I’d remember to look into it.
Unfortunately, I never got to looking into it, of which I was reminded of when I saw an email from Microsoft in my inbox. I instantly knew I had forgotten to cancel the membership, or set it to not auto renew. I assumed the email was telling me that my account had been charged for a year’s membership that my son would not use.
I then noticed the subject line said, “Confirmation of cancellation of Gold – 12 Month.”
I had forgotten to change the settings of the membership, but my son had not. Had the membership renewed, it would have been MY fault, not his. It would have been MY money wasted, not his. After all, he had told me no longer wanted the membership.
He had looked into it, just as he said he would, and saved his forgetful father $60.
Have you ever had an experience where a kid showed more financial responsibility than you?