5 Pieces of Advice to Tell Your Child About Money is a series that will run every Tuesday for the next few weeks where some of the top personal finance bloggers share their thoughts on this topic. At the end of the series I will post my own 5 pieces of advice. The entire series can be found under Money Tips.
For those of you just tuning in, here is the background to this topic: One of the things that I am really passionate about is setting a good example for the next generation. It seems that so many kids these days have no idea about personal finance and have not been taught the skills on how to manage money for the future. Many of them don’t have to work hard for what they have and so they haven’t developed an appreciation and respect for money earned.
Last week Jason at Frugal Dad shared his thoughts on this matter. This week I asked Tim at Canadian Dream: Free at 45 his opinion. Here is what he had to say:
1) Money is limited. Contrary to what you might believe, adults don’t have unlimited amounts of money. If fact, everyone has a limited amount of money that you will see in your life time. So try try to consider that when you buy things. If nothing else the pause of thinking about it might help you to avoid some fairly silly purchases in your life. When in doubt save the money and come back the decision in a week.
2) Don’t fixate on money. Money most of the time won’t buy you much long term happiness. You have to do that all by yourself, so don’t fixate on how much you make or how big of a house you want, but instead fixate on working towards your dreams and doing what makes you happy in life. By doing that you likely will find you don’t need as much money as you initially thought.
3) You are not a consumer. Despite every news cast you will hear in your life, you are not a consumer. You are a person and a citizen first and foremost. You can be different than everyone else and actually learn to do something by yourself rather than just buying your way out of a problem. Also you are obligated to vote in every election that you can. Why? Those people are spending your tax money, which is your largest expense in life. Hold them accountable for what they do and if you don’t like any of them find someone to replace them or replace them yourself.
4) Learn about investing. It is boring at times, but you can’t afford to trust a mutual fund salesman to look after your money for you. No one will care more about your money than you, so take some responsibility and learn the basics.
5) Learn to ask for help. Regardless of what you do, accept that we all need help at times. So help others freely and receive help freely. There is nothing in this world that some one some where hasn’t already likely tried to do. So ask people you know, search the Internet and find the help you need. Your social network will be worth more to you in your life than all the money you will ever earn. Respect that and look after it.
Thank you Tim for participating and for your words or wisdom!
Stay tuned next week where we will hear from Frugal Trader at Million Dollar Journey and what he has to say about this.