How do children learn? Do they listen to what you say, sure but do they learn from it? The way children learn is from observation, they do what you do. Not what you tell them to do. If you tell them to only speak nice and you use a “bad word”, what happens? Six months later in the grocery store your little angel decides now is the time to start shouting that word at the top of their lungs.
This applies to everything, especially how you spend and save money. They are with you for all the trips to the store or they will notice the new big screen TV. They will also hear you and your spouse fighting over it later that night. How you cannot afford it and now what are you going to do for family vacation. What have your impulse purchases taught them?
From an early age children get a good sense of what is going on. They don’t know what’s happening but they sense what is happening. This will shape their entire lives, if you are lousy at handling money more than likely they also will be lousy at handling money. I have done several talks to government workers who process ‘welfare’ payments to their clients. They tell me that it is common to have third and fourth generation families on welfare. What do you think they have learned from their parents?
Wow, it is amazing to me. Over four generations or about 60 years the family’s inability to deal effectively with money still ruins lives. I have told countless parents you cannot make your children’s lives better if you do not make your life better. The reason is again, they learn what you do. So if your life is one of hardship and struggle this is what they will normally learn and will turn into their life.
You are in charge of changing your life and your entire family tree. Take the time and do the work to get a hold of your spending habits. Learn how to save small amounts of money on a regular basis. Learn and implement an investment program. Do not trust that to an investment advisor. You must learn how to do it, they can help but remember a fool and their money…
You do not need to be the worlds expert on saving, spending or investing but you must be able to hold a conversation on those topics. If it takes you 4-5 years to learn all this stuff it is a small price to pay to make your life and your child’s life a better place.
Take the time today to get a book on one of those three areas, savings, spending and investing and start your learning process. Then as soon as possible start your doing process because remember your children will learn what you do, so make it count. Be the one in your family who leads the next generation to financial freedom. They will thank you someday.
Ward Willison is a Self Made Millionaire who is frustrated that so many people have sky rocketing debt. Get his free debt elimination Tips