"Do you really need another Lego?" I heard a mom say in exasperation near the checkout counter at Target. "Weren't you just telling me you want to save for a new Xbox?"
Wise parents start early in counseling their kids on setting financial priorities and delaying gratification today in favor of even greater gratification at a later date. That's good, because those types of challenges--albeit in different incarnations--will be with us throughout our lives. New grads must decide between student loan paydown and saving for homes, cars, and weddings; new parents must wrestle with saving for their own retirements and funding college for their kids. Late-career accumulators must balance showing off the fruits of their labors--vacation homes and luxury cars--with financing the retirement years that will be here before they know it.