Finance 05 June 2019
When you think of money, what comes to mind first? For most people, it's lack. Money sparks images of bills and debt instead of wealth and abundance.
Isn't that a curious kind of thing? Money is a very physical thing that can come in the form of paper or coin – but most people in our society associate it with the opposite. When you hear the word money, your mind actually thinks about the feeling of not having money instead of thinking about the physical money.
But when you really delve into the topic, it makes a lot of sense. We naturally associate words with feelings. And for most of us, money elicits feelings of lack. It's a cycle that begins at a young age… but it doesn't have to.
That's one reason why it's important to teach your tween how to save now. If your tween starts saving now, she can face those defining moments of young adulthood from a perspective of abundance instead of lack.
The money mindset begins now
By the time your child approaches his teenage years, he has already begun to form an opinion on money. And there's some good news and bad news: Those opinions largely come from you and your relationship with money.
If you've got it all figured out, there's nothing but good news in the equation. But if you have some work to do on your own money mindset, it's not all sunshine and roses.
But there's a silver lining…
Once you've identified your own blocks, you can course correct with your child. Take a look at your own spending habits to see whether you can dissect any hidden beliefs you may have about money. If you can't, and you have trouble with saving, spending or making money, you may want to talk to someone who specializes in the money mindset.
At the very least, read a book about creating positive habits around money, so you can pass on some healthier habits to your tween. The relationship he forms with money today will stay with him for a lifetime, so this is important.
Compound interest is a young adult's best friend
Compound interest is the easiest way to explain the benefits of saving to your young adult. If you have an account where you can illustrate the benefits of compound interest over time, now is a great time to share the learnings with your child.
If not, no worries. You can still walk through an example of compound interest with the money your tween has to invest.
For example, let's say your 13-year-old child has $1,000 today. She invests that money into an interest bearing account for the next 10 years. Without adding a dime (or withdrawing a dime), at an 8 percent interest rate, that $1,000 will more than double. And it may not seem like a lot, but the longer you leave the money there, the more it will grow. After 20 years, you'll have four times as much in the account at the same interest rate.
And, naturally, the more your child invests, the greater the benefits. It's always better to invest early than to try and catch up later.
Emergency funds can save your financial future
Now's a good time to teach your child what could happen if you don't have an emergency fund.
Most of us learn by example, so let's explore one possible scenario:
Bob graduates college and gets an apartment with his friends. He has a job earning $7.25 an hour and that barely covers his living expenses. After living expenses, Bob always has about $150 left in the bank. This is his "entertainment money," and he always spends it.
But this month, Bob's certified preowned Volvo broke down. The cost of the repair was $200. Now, Bob has -$200. He was forced to take on credit card debt to get his car fixed. His bills just got a slight increase because he's making minimum payments on his credit card.
By making minimum payments, Bob will take nearly 2 years to pay off that credit card and pay an extra $52 at a 24 percent APR.
This is one strike. And there will inevitably be more to follow.
It's easy to see how things can snowball from here. When you're spending money you don't have, it will always cost you. As overdraft fees, late fees and interest charges pile up, you'll end up losing money you don't even have. It's difficult to catch up once you've fallen down this rabbit hole.
That's why an emergency fund is so crucial.
If you want your children to experience financial freedom, you have to equip them with the right tools. What techniques are you using to tach your kids about money?
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist