There were so many things I didn’t know about money, and there were so many things that I have learnt that were not entirely how I now believe them to be true. Either one I look at, I wish I knew it in my 20’s. So that I can give my children a better future I try to prepare them for their future – I say try, because I can only deliver the message, I cannot be the one to implement it for them.
When it comes to money, the advice I got at home was that I had to work hard for someone else through my life to make a few bucks. It is not really the way of living I was after. So I share my journey with money with my kids. I tell them about my failures and I tell them what works.
I give them lessons on taxes, savings and superannuation – one that they hate, as it means that a large chunk of their pay goes into a savings account that they cannot touch. I also teach them about investing, yields, debt and assets. At times they feel it is boring, other times they surprise me with their interest.
I want my kids to be prepared when they fly out of the nest and not be illiterate like most of their mates. And when they tell me that 15-16 year olds flock to online shopping when they are angry or sad, I am glad that I am planting a seed for a better future in in their minds now!
- IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION LEAVES YOU POOR
When they were younger, I put a marshmallow in front of my kids. I told them they could have that right now, or if they waited for me to return they could have two marshmallows. This was a hard test for them. But it was to teach them that at times if they wait they get a better reward.
This test was a stepping stone toward teaching them about money. See with credit cards so easily available these days it is very easy to go and grab whatever you want straight away, however this just leaves you in debt with a pile of junk. So they had a decision when they wanted something, they could have it there and then and pay me back with interest, or they could wait and save up for it.
After a couple attempts of overspending and finding that paying debt back took them a long time, they now know to save up for the things they want.
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS
Taking responsibility for your own actions will make you the master of your own destiny. There are way too many people around that are ready to blame others for their circumstances as is. When you have a mindset that nothing is your fault, and you are unlucky and life isn’t fair, you are not going to get ahead. That is a mindset of a victim, who chooses the path of least resistance and is not willing to make an effort to better himself.
Taking charge of your life means that you have to become accountable for your choices as where you are at any given time is due to the decisions you have made. Doing the right thing according to your own values, living up to your standards and making your own choices builds confidence, self esteem and self respect.
Taking control of your life also means that you take control of your wealth situation. The fact is, there are no rich victims. So if you want to be wealthy, the person that can make it happen is you.
- FINANCIAL FREEDOM COSTS LESS THAN YOU THINK
There are plenty of people who suffer from ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome. These people can appear to be wealthy, have the big house, the new car, the boat and the brand name clothing yet are up to their eyeball in debt. Financial freedom comes from a healthy relationship with money, personal responsibility and financial discipline to ensure that you have a buffer and that you spend less than you earn and invest the difference in income producing assets.
Doesn’t matter how much you earn as long as you can live without bad debt.
- PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Today’s society is promoting the use of credit for everything. Store cards, credit card, pay day loans and the likes are making getting things all too easy. The lesson I am modeling and aiming to teach is that there is a difference between wants and needs.
Things like flashy cars, big TVs, latest gadgets are wants. They are also worthless once you take them home. So unless you can buy them with cash right now, do not buy them. Instead focus on your investment. The sooner you can get them going and produce income the sooner you can increase your purchasing power.
- COMPOUNDING IS YOUR FRIEND
I have started my boys savings plan a while ago, and as soon as they started making money through their chores they had to put 25% of whatever they earned into their savings account. Once they started earning from others the amount they put away increased by the current Superannuation Guarantee Levy rate.
They didn’t like it at first, however they could see how quickly their account was growing, especially once the balance were invested into higher yield deals. So not only were they making interest on interest, they made a healthy return on the total sum.
Compounding is so effective that Albert Einstein called it the most powerful force in the universe.
Savings and investing is something we discuss together so they can learn and so they can see the outcome of their good work. If you start them young, you are likely to secure your children’s financial future.
Why am I starting them young? At the age they are at I am the most influential mentor in my children’s life right now. They watch and they learn. They are like a sponge. Some things they may not understand unless it is clearly explained to them, so I demonstrate and explain also. I aim to teach them daily success habits, mindset techniques and a way to create a healthy relationship with money.