|Start healthy money habits with kids|
|Thursday, 22 December 2011 13:05|
As a teenager, Trevor Bolin was a drug-abusing high school dropout. He helped support his meager income pumping gas by hauling possessions to the pawn shop, where he picked up just enough money for fast food dinners.
By 17, Bolin decided he'd had enough. He came up with a plan, and within two years, he'd quit drugs and was close to paying off $85,000 in debt. By 28, he earned his first $1 million in one year. And he did it simply by coming up with a plan and putting the plan in motion.
"My life has nothing to do with luck, good or bad," writes Bolin, 32, now a British Colombia businessman and city councilor, in his new book, Take Charge and Change Your Life Today. "It revolves around working hard, giving back as much as (if not more than) I get, accepting that attitude is everything, and being grateful for what I have."
While many parents teach their children the basics of fiscal responsibility using allowances, Bolin suggests his young experience offered less obvious, but equally critical lessons. Children need to have a healthy attitude toward money to avoid making unhappy choices and create a life path that they control.
"I learned my lessons the hard way," he says. "You can start now to make sure your children never reach the bottom that I hit."
These are some places to start:
Avoid making negative comments about money: Sayings like "money is the root of all evil" and "a fool and his money are soon parted" are negative and not helpful. Imagine what a child believes about money if that's what they hear all the time? Money is a great thing – when you control it rather than allowing money to control you.
Help children recognize the financial lessons they learn from experience: Say you encouraged your children to set aside some of Grandma's birthday money, but they spent it all on impulse. When they're disappointed later because they can't buy something they want, remind them why. Tell them that feeling disappointed is a small price to pay for a valuable lesson. And won't it be much easier if they learn the lesson after just one sad experience?
Pay yourself first: If your children receive a weekly allowance, they should immediately put 10 to 15 percent into a savings account that won't be touched. Set a milestone for when money from the account can be used, such as their 18th birthday. By then, they would have developed a healthy lifetime habit of saving.
Help your child set goals: Setting financial goals, noting progress toward achieving them, and enjoying the satisfaction of crossing them off the list are fiscally sound lessons and a good way to nurture general healthy attitudes. Your children might set goals for the month ($10 to go to the movies), goals for the year (save $200 for a Wii system) and goals for the future ($375 a year for the next eight years for a car.)
"Goals are the first step in achieving what you desire in this world," Bolin says. "You can create success in any aspect of life – not just money – as long as you're putting a plan in motion."
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 10:37|