There are so many events, decisions and occurrences that I look back on over the years and think, ‘Wow, if only I knew then what I know now, how differently things would have been.’
While it’s too late for me, one of the most important things we can do as parents is to equip our children to manage their lives more effectively, by sharing with them the lessons we’ve learnt along the way.
Seemingly though, many of us are reluctant to share our mistakes with our offspring for fear that they might think badly of us.
In fact, most Australians don’t teach their children anything about money meaning we are raising our children to be financially illiterate.
Is it any wonder that most Australians live pay cheque to cheque and accumulate more debt than assets?
What’s worse is what our children are being taught by their parents, the school system, politicians and the media.
They are teaching our children that the wealthy are greedy, have too much money and that this wealth needs to be redistributed.
What kind of a message do you think that sends to our future generations?
So I thought, as a father to my own (now adult) kids and mentor to so many budding property investors, I would take a moment to share these 9 important steps that can give your children more financial control and independence.
When we’re younger we tend to think in very narrow time increments.
We seek immediate gratification and often don’t like delaying the purchase of something that we really want.
Unfortunately, this leads many to fall into a credit trap, where they borrow money using high-interest store cards or personal loans, only to pay back thousands of dollars in interest and forever owe money to others.
But the fact is today’s debt is robbing them of tomorrow’s earnings because they’re sacrificing money they don’t yet have.
Limiting your debt obligations when you’re younger will mean having more control over your personal finances later in life and avoiding the financial chains that bind your freedom to choose how you live life.
We all like our toys.
Well…at least I know I do.
But the expectation is a dreadful enemy of money management.
We see so much of how ‘the other half live’ in glossy magazines and on television shows these days glorified as something to aspire to, that many of us think life is all about working just so you can be one of the ‘have mores’ of the world.
Consumerism is the ‘new black’ that won’t go away.
The truth is possessions don’t make for a rich life, it’s the experiences and people – the things that money can’t buy – that make you truly wealthy.
You’ve probably heard me say your “true wealth” is what you’re left with if you lose all your money and possessions.
The fact is: there are no rich victims.
However, unfortunately, people are too quick to blame others for the perceived failings in their lives these days.
We have become a society of litigious finger pointers and as a result, many people feel they’ve been unjustly dealt a ‘bad hand’.
The truth is if you’re courageous enough to cast a critical eye over your life, recognise you are where you are as a direct result of your own choices and take ownership of your decisions, you build confidence, self-esteem and self-respect.
In turn, you’ll feel an inner strength in knowing you are master of your own destiny, rather than handing your power and control over to someone else who, let’s face it, won’t have your best interests at heart the way you do.
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When you fly the family coup, no doubt you’ll want everything yesterday – the flashy car, the top job and the biggest flat-screen TV money can buy.
But in all likelihood you’ll have to work your way up the food chain, learning to prioritise how to make the best use of your fortnightly pay cheque as you go.
Understand the difference between wants and needs and recognise that all the money you spend on those material items you just ‘had to have’ today, is less than you’ll have to fund your retirement with tomorrow.
And know that if you work hard and invest even harder, your purchasing power will increase over time!
Many of us like to attribute the success of others all to ‘good fortune’. Perhaps they were in ‘the right place at the right time’, or knew ‘the right person’.
While a handful of people have lucked out by winning the lottery, truly successful people do the hard yards to reach the pinnacle of their chosen field of endeavour.
If you can find something you’re passionate about and make a living doing it, you’ll be far more likely to achieve great things because you’ll work harder to reach your goals...and every day won’t be a struggle.
Plenty of millionaires are up to their eyeballs in debt and that’s the truth of it.
Many of society’s rich power players are asset-rich, but cash poor.
Some are indentured to their creditors indefinitely.
Whereas other people, who earn $50,000 a year, are without debt and financially free.
Financial freedom is not dependent on money itself, but on your relationship to it and the level of personal responsibility and fiscal discipline, you’re prepared to exercise throughout life.
If you follow this one golden rule above all else, you will quickly establish yourself on the path to financial freedom.
Aim to invest at least 10 per cent of your earnings and the power of compounding will take care of the rest. And speaking of the power of compounding…
Compounding relies on money, yes, but more than that, it relies on time.
In fact, given enough time, compound interest – that is the interest earned on your high-growth assets – is so effective that Albert Einstein called it the most powerful force in the universe.
Start saving and investing early in life and you’re likely to secure your financial future.
Wealthy people do certain things every single day that sets them apart from everyone else in life.
Wealthy people have good daily success habits that they learned from their parents.
These daily habits are the real reason for the wealth gap in our country and the real reason why the rich get richer.
We are likely to be the only mentors and we’re definitely likely to be the most influential mentors our children have.
Unless we teach our children good daily success habits and level the playing field, the rich will continue to get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer.
So it just might pay (literally) to give them a bit of your time.