- I really and truly believed that wealthy people were shallow and not very smart. (My parents were academics, so you can see how I arrived at that conclusion.)
- I also believed that money was a pain. I never had enough, and whenever I wanted any, I had to argue with my parents. I usually lost that argument. (You can see how I arrived at that conclusion, too.)
- I thought it would be fine if I never learned to manage money, because I fully expected to marry a man who would take care of that area of our lives. (My step-father was in charge of the money in my home, so you can see how I arrived at that conclusion, too!)
- I was jealous of my friends who had more spending money (in spite of #1), because they got to have things and do things that I didn’t get to have and do. I believed that money was something “other people had, not me”. (My parents often said “We cant’ afford that”, so you can see how that thought got hatched in my young brain!)
- I thought there were only two things I could do with money: save it or spend it. I got an allowance, which I immediately spent on who-knows-what, and my sister always saved her allowance. She would save and save and then buy herself a beautiful sweater. (My parents gave us an allowance, but never taught us money management strategies, so I never knew how to save, spend, give, and donate in managed ways.)
- I thought rich people gave to causes that mattered, and people like me just “walked” and “sold stuff” to raise money. I never thought of myself as a person who could use my money to make a difference in the world in ways that mattered to me. (That’s what I saw people doing, so I figured that applied to me, too.)
- I never thought I needed to manage my money, because I hardly had any. And no one told me anything different.
Long story short, I brought these beliefs about myself, people, and money into my adult financial life. From these beliefs, I became a teacher with a disastrous financial life. . . until I learned to think and believe differently.
If you consider the messages your teenager has received from you, by what you say and do with regards to them and money, how do you predict YOUR teen will fare?
Here is a basic list of the beliefs you can instill in your teen that will form a solid foundation for a healthy financial life, regardless of how much money they have now.
- Managing money well MAKES it grow. Not having much money is the BEST reason you can find to manage it well.
- Wealth is the result of a series of small steps, taken repeatedly over time. Anyone can take these steps and have this result.
- Money is a tool that funds the life of your dreams, allows you to have options, and empowers you to make a difference in the world as a leader.
- Managing your money takes energy and time. Being broke is truly and deeply exhausting, though. Your choice.
- Wealthy people make money important. Broke people say, “Money isn’t important. It can wait. It’s too much of a pain. I will let someone else take care of it.”
- Money doesn’t MAKE you shallow or greedy. People show who they already are by the way they use and manage their money.
- Money and money management is NOT hard or complicated. Learn a simple money management system that is clearly related to your life, your dreams, your goals, and your values. Practice it when you’re young and then keep using it when you become an adult.
One tool you can use to make money matter to your teen is the WealthQuest for Teens Online Video and Workbook. It’s narrated by and for teens, engaging, interactive, convenient, affordable, and effective.
Easy Action: Learn about the Curve and two key elements of personal finance from Jay Sanders’ blog, Life on the Curve. He offers a wealth of information for parents and teens.
Resource at Your Fingertips: Check out WealthQuest for Teen’s Online Video Seminar and QuickStart Guide for a fun way for your teen to learn about saving, managing, and growing his or her money!
Remember to Pledge to teach your teen to be an excellent money manager! Vote “Yes. I will make the promise!” to let the world know that parents are doing their part to build a financially literate society!
© Your Teen’s Money Skills, Inc., 2012 All rights reserved worldwide.