In a perfect world, we would all have the following critical financial ideas pounded into our heads at the earliest possible age, preferably before 10. However, the reality of parenting and the educational system is that few of us are exposed to proper thinking about money early, if ever. Young Wealth is here to rectify the situation so, in the likely event your parents forget to cram the financial wisdom of the world down your throat – here it is. Don’t say you were never told.
1. It takes money to make money: Teens may be taken aback when the Bank of Mom and Dad eventually turns off the spigot and the realization sets in that, ughh, it’s time to think about working for your money. It’s a tough lesson but that’s how the cookie crumbles. Unless you’re a trust fund kid, Disney tween star, or plan to invent the next world conquering computer operating system, you’re going to have to slave for your wages. That’s okay. Learn the value of work and how much you don’t want to do it the rest of life. Therein might be the motivation to save and invest!
2. Set a Goal: It’s tough to get anywhere in life without setting a goal. It could be as simple as buying a new iPod or more lofty like retiring before the age of 30. Either way, learning to set goals is an invaluable part of finances. Set a price tag and time frame and let your industriousness take care of the details.
3. Income is a good thing: The reality of life is that the majority of us are going to have to go to work every day to make ends meet. The sooner we internalize and accept that fact, the better. The important idea here is to learn to make the connection between effort and achieving the goal. Plus there’s the small matter of being able to afford to put food on the table and gasoline in the car.
4. Motivation means reward: To accomplish anything of substance in life requires motivation. That’s where goals and rewards come in. Though our first goals might be a new bicycle or Wii, eventually we move on to more substantive life accomplishments like retirement or a new car. That’s when the lessons of childhood pay off in a big way. Motivation takes you to the reward, which provides more motivation for the next goal and an even bigger reward. Rinse and repeat.
These financial lessons might seem simplistic to those out of college or in the work world but, if you find yourself experiencing money hardships, maybe it’s time to go back to these very simple financial lessons and re-apply them to your life. It’s normally the basic, simple ideas that carry the most power.
The Young Wealth Team
Flickr / Chad Crowell