Think back to when you were a young little boy or girl – What things did you think about?
Think back to when you were a teenager – What things did you think about then?
Look at yourself now as an adult – What things do you think about now?
Did/do any of those thoughts entertain your finances, financial status, cash flow, or legacy you would like to have and leave behind?
This is something I have been personally working on a lot over the past 10 years. In part for myself, but more for my legacy: my children, my community, my family. I am also doing everything I can to make sure our children have everything they need to succeed as well as pass on what I’ve learned, hoping it can make someone’s life a little better. One of those major life lessons is finances.
I have come to learn it’s not about how much money you make as money itself will never make you happy. The retirement and pension plans of those of my parents’ age or older are not the same ones offered today. The job security people once had is not as secure as it once was. I felt like I needed to learn about what else was out there.
So this is what I would like to pass onto my children and how I will teach them as they grow.
1. Learn & Pay Attention to Your Numbers. You have to pay attention to what is coming in and what is going out. You may have to cut back on something or downsize somehow. My main focus is finding a solution to make more money without putting in more hours. Many people believe this is not possible, but I know it is. Know where you stand and you’ll know how to pivot, adjust, and keep moving forward.
Teaching tip: Play cashflow and math games with your kids.
2. Have Multiple Streams of Income. There are many ways to make and earn money and there is nothing wrong with having multiple streams of income.
Teaching tip: Have your child come up with different ways they can make money and then help them do it.
3. Learn How to Raise Money. Everyone at one point or another will need some financial assistance. Learning to raise money will help you avoid relying on banks and credit cards.
Teaching tip: Ask your kids to help you figure out different ways they can get more money and what it involves for each. See what they come up with when you ask them how they can make a dollar bill multiply. Encourage their creative minds!
4. Know Your Numbers… Your Credit Score! Maintain an amazing credit score by paying attention to your numbers, your cashflow, your expenses, etc. Make sure you pay your bills on time. Having credit cards and lines of credits is only bad when you’re irresponsible. Learn how to use them appropriately and how to maximize the ways you can use them and pay them back. You’d be surprised how much you can do!
Teaching tip: Talk to your kids about credit cards, lines of credits, bank loans, finances, etc. and let them see the pros, cons, risks etc. Teach them what the banks and lenders are looking for and what they expect to keep the relationships growing.
5. Always Do the Right Thing! There are bad people and good people in all levels of financial status. Regardless of what others are doing, saying, or practicing, make sure you are doing, saying, and practicing what is right and with a loving and humble heart.
Teaching tip: Any situation your child encounters that is challenging or being “pushed/forced” to do something, ask them what the right thing is. Even if they have to pay some consequences for doing the right thing in that moment.
6. Give Back to the Community! The community helps all of us and sometimes the community needs a little extra help. Tithing, donating, raising money for a non-profit, etc. can be very impactful and you don’t need to be a grown up either.
Teaching tip: Encourage your child to be involved in the community and if they feel strongly about helping an organization or doing something impactful, support them and help them execute their idea!
7. Never Stop Learning. Read often and take courses that will help your finances. The only way you’ll grow is by learning about what’s out there and have the knowledge to apply it to your life.
Teaching tip: Read with them and study with them. Don’t be afraid to read children’s books that talk about money and other important life matters. But most importantly, whatever you read with them, find ways to make it applicable to where they are in their life. After all, they’re still kids!