Financial freedom. We all want it. It can mean different things to different people. Perhaps for you it means making a great living, doing what you love…or it may mean you have enough money in the bank that you never have to worry about when your next paycheck is coming.
It’s a life we all dream of. Well, dreams do come true. But, this I know for sure. In order for you to have financial freedom, you must understand money. Understand money? What does that mean?
It means you know how to handle the wealth you now have, by being financially savvy. Let’s face it, most of us weren’t educated about money when we were young. We were masters at spending money and would have won awards, if they gave them out, for mismanaging the money that ran through our fingers.
Like anything, when you don’t practice the art, you never really become great. Same goes for money.
So, how do you become financially savvy? Start by admitting you need some help. It’s okay to say, out loud, that money isn’t your strongest skill set. Welcome to the majority.
Let’s get started. First of all, decide today that becoming financially free, and staying financially free, is something you are committed to. You are sick and tired of struggling financially and want out of the constant stress that “lack” brings you. Once you admit you need some help, finding the guidance becomes easy.
Observe those that have done really well and learn from what they do. Let’s take Warren Buffet, for example. Clearly, he made his Billions, with a capital B, by mastering the stock market. But, if you study him further, you will come to realize it wasn’t so much what he made in the market, it’s what he kept. Although he can afford much grander, he lives in a conservative, smaller home that you wouldn’t expect a billionaire to live in. In fact, he lives in the same home he purchased for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska. The lesson here, with observing his habits, is one of my favorite messages….live below your means. In other words, don’t worry about impressing the neighbors, or anyone else for that matter. Be more concerned with your financial well-being, than what others think about you. Pretty exhilarating, huh?
Stay tuned for next time, when I share the next tip on becoming money savvy!
Welcome to our newest subscribers! We have had quite a few new families join us recently and I’m very happy you’re here!
I was so excited to read a recent article about Maryland schools requiring financial literacy to be added to their curriculum. If you are in the Maryland area and have heard the same, please let me know. I am in the process of researching this and would love confirmation!
How great would that be? Finally, our public school systems acknowledging the importance of “life skills” in the classroom! Imagine our kids coming out of high school with the knowledge and confidence of knowing how to interview correctly, how to manage their money wisely, building business relationships, understanding time management and stress reduction techniques! I’m getting excited just thinking about this!!
As summer approaches, many parents struggle with how to keep the “brain juices flowing” with our teens, myself included. Summertime is a great time to relax and enjoy time off from the crazy schedule of school commitments, but it’s also important to stay active, both in body and mind.
Well, I’ve got just the answer…at least for the mind part! My online Money School is a perfect way to entertain and educate your kids (and possibly Mom and Dad too!) This program is comprised of 40 lessons, broken down into 10-15 minute videos. The material is comprehensive and the perfect gift for anyone in high school or going off to college. As a thank you for being a loyal subscriber, I am offering this Money School for 40% off the retail price for 4 DAYS ONLY! This offer ends on April 18, 2013! Enter coupon code “SUMMER” at checkout!
You can learn more about the complete program here: http://teenscashcoach.com/products/napt
Have a wonderful week and please let me know how I can help you!
When it comes to teens, I love sharing great information. Since I’m a mom of a teen myself, I found this video very fascinating. Check out this study and enjoy the videos. Very interesting stuff!
I love posting this article during football season. If you’ve read it before, read it again, as it will be a good reminder for you. If you’re reading for the first time, enjoy!
OK, I admit it. I like football. Although I don’t understand all the strategies just yet, I enjoy watching the carefully
planned plays. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but nevertheless, very fun stuff to watch.
As I’m watching the games, it occurs to me that football and finances have a lot in common. (I admit, sometimes it’s hard for me to turn my ‘work’ brain off, even in the middle of an exciting game). The plays are carefully planned, the teams spend countless
hours practicing and strategizing, there is an experienced coach that guides the team to victory and they never give up. Their goal is specific, understood by all and there is serious motivation to win. Do you see where I am going with this?
Your money matters, your financial roadmap, requires the same mindset as those big, bad, burly football players. If you don’t have a specific plan in place, if you don’t practice and don’t have someone guiding you, you will probably not end up where you want to. When it’s time to send your kids to college, go on that vacation or retire, where are those funds coming from? What if you lost your job unexpectedly? Do you have reserves to fall back on?
Imagine those football players running onto the field with no plan, no plays. It would almost be painful to watch. Complete chaos. Is that what we enjoy watching? Doubtful.
So, is your financial picture complete chaos? If so, don’t panic. It’s never too late to get things in order.
Start by having a plan. Write down specific goals, what action steps are necessary to achieve those goals and by when. If lifestyle changes must occur, define what those changes are and commit to that change. Sit down and pull all your bills out for the last month. Determine your fixed expenses and compare that to what you actually spend every month. Sometimes this alone can be a real eye opener. Where does all that extra money go? The local coffee house? Lunch out? Those shoes you had to have?
Here’s an interesting statistic: If you saved $4 per day (one coffee) for 5 days per week for 52 weeks and invested that money at 10%, do you know how much you would have after 40 years? Some would say about $80,000, $90,000 even $100,000. Nope, you would have $553,396. Compounding interest is your new best friend.
So, make plans for your vacation and sending your kids off to college, just remember to plan for your money issues as well.
After my blog post last week, I got this great letter from a reader. She agreed to allow me to share her question and my response. You may resonate with her, and as she did, feel better after you read what I had to say. If you missed last week, read the article below this one.
I read the article about teens working. I have read other articles with similar information. The part that I have trouble wrapping my mind around is this: once an adult, the child will forever be an adult. There is a short period of time where the child can just be a child. My son, 15 years old, schools 11 months out of the year 5-7 hours a day pursuing his bachelor’s degree while finishing his high school requirements. He participates in speech and debate, Moot Court, Model UN as well as organized sports. He has plenty of friends through those activities and is honestly very happy. So, am I a bad parent for not making him get a job? (He does do some landscaping when jobs are sent his way and he is required to do chores and he gets no allowance.) Is my perspective wrong? Should I pull him from his studies or activities that he loves so that he can work at the ice cream store up the road? I am not being cocky, I really need to know.
Thanks for asking such a great question. I can hear in your “voice” the struggle you are experiencing.
It sounds like your son is a very motivated and driven young man. To be working on a Bachelors degree at 15 years old is very impressive!
There are two main reasons I suggest a job for teens. One, it teaches them accountability. As an employee, they are required to be at a certain place, at a certain time, doing a job that requires work. The responsibility that goes along with that gives them a good indication of what life is about. Two, with the funds they earn, they can learn how to manage money wisely. They can start to save, invest, give back, spend and understand budgeting.
Having said all that, I believe your son has the first reason down to a science. Given what you have shared with me, he has a total understanding of being accountable and responsible. This is a non issue for you.
As far as teaching him about money, he does need some way to understand smart money management. I know you plan on purchasing the online money school, which will be a great asset for him. I’m hoping he enjoyed the book and learned a ton. This will give him a definite edge when he gets out in the world.
But, like playing tennis, until you go hit the ball, you can’t really know what it feels like to play the game. You can read and study, which will help you with strategy and rules, but until you get on the court, it’s hard to “feel” playing. So, I’m not suggesting he get a job at the local ice cream store, just for the sake of getting a job, but I do suggest he somehow gets some money in his “hands.” How? Here’s an idea I’ll run by you…
Come up with a figure that you spend on him every month, not including food. Calculate what you spend on clothes, sundries, the activities you mentioned, play money etc. At the 1st of the month, give him that amount of money to budget for the month. Let him experience paying cash for these items and budgeting the money himself. If he runs out of money before the end of the month, let that be a learning experience for him.
You can also include him in your household payments, if this is something you wish to share with him. Take the opportunity to teach him with everyday situations. Whether it’s making him shop for a sale or negotiating a purchase, these daily experiences will help him understand that money management is the key to wealth. It’s not what you make that makes you wealthy, it’s what you keep.
Perhaps he can find a job that pertains to what he is studying. This way it becomes both work experience and income.
He obviously has a great work ethic and is very bright. You have done a great job in exposing him to some wonderful opportunities! As he learns the ropes to being money savvy, he will be well on his way to success!
I hope this helps.
She responsed with feeling much better and understood my point and suggestions.