"Pay yourself first."
"Take $50 from each check and put it in savings."
How many of you remember being told something similar?
And how many of you listened?
Not many of us listened to that advice (myself included) but I'm willing to bet we all look back and WISH WE HAD! Gosh, when we were younger, we had way fewer expenses than we do now and life seemed so much less complicated didn't it? Young adults today are still told that same advice and just like us, they tell themselves "I'll save when..."
...when I get my next raise.
...when I get my new car.
...when the new year hits.
Then it's years later and we are left thinking, "How come I didn't just listen and SAVE MONEY every check like I was told?"
When we're young, we think we're the exception to the wise advice "pay yourself first." We think we'll be able to play "catch up" later and every young adult thinks the same thing today just as we did at their age! I'm here to tell these young adults - YOU'RE NOT THE EXCEPTION!
"But my mom told me I was special."
You are, but not when it comes to money!
SO PARENTS LISTEN UP! Don't throw the same advice at your kids they're already hearing because it didn't work for you, it probably won't work for them! Instead, make sure they understand these 4 Important Nuggets before you send them away to college or before they graduate from college:
1. Managing your money Is Necessary: You will always be busy. You'll have homework, a part-time job, fraternity or sorority, and studying but you MUST find the time to manage your money! It's a way of life whether you like it or not so get good at it. Find a simple, easy way to managing what's coming in and out and never stop! You're an adult now, so no more "winging it" and that means paying attention to your money and making smart, responsible decisions with it.
2. Question what you are being told: Whether it's your professor or your financial aid counselor, money is not one-size-fits-all. What works for them may not work for you. How much your friend spends on clothes, may not be possible for you. Always question how a solution works for you and only you.
3. Ask for Help: This does not mean "borrow money" from someone! We're told money shouldn't be discussed (along with politics and religion) so we have a number of young adults struggling yet they don't ask for help. Ask a friend, parent, or trusted professional "How do I pay bills?" "What's it mean to balance a checkbook?" "How exactly do I budget?" Find someone you trust who is successful with money and ask how they manage it. If you're in a bind, don't fight the battle alone. Ask for help.
4. Use Cash: Credit cards are not "free money." By using cash, you'll spend 18-22% less and you can hold yourself accountable to a budget. Friends will tell you credit cards are "so convenient" but this goes back to #2- what works for them is not necessarily what's right for you. Using cash will save you money!
And finally parents, WHY should they learn to be good money managers? Without the "WHY", it's just another thing we're telling them to do... Speak from the heart on this! Being good with your money means-
* You can have more fun.
* You can have a life and enjoy yourself without guilt.
* You have less stress.
* You can work for a passion or your happiness regardless of the pay.
* You can bless others.
* You can focus on what's really important in life.