Guest Post: Money Guidence for Teens

You can achieve success if you have patience and know the right rules to follow.  No one can lay out a step by step road map to avoid all of the challenges and struggles that come with life, but if you live by a set of core principles, you will be able to navigate your way through finding plenty of happiness along the way.

Money will play an important role in your journey so here are some of the principles that might help make money a positive force in your world. 

Money is important, but it isn’t everything

There will come a point in your life where you have more money than you need to provide for all of the things you need to live comfortably.  Once you reach this point, you will understand that having more money will not bring you more happiness.  Don’t be fooled by videos you see or friends you hang out with into thinking that making money is the ultimate goal in life.  Money is a poor substitute for self-confidence, freedom, health, and loving relationships.  Figure out how much money is enough for you to live the life you want.

Money comes from creating value for other people        

We live in a society where we are not self-sufficient for our daily needs.  Did you grow, farm, or hunt the food you had for breakfast this morning?  Did you stitch the fabric together in the clothes you are wearing?  Did you engineer the microchips inside of your smart phone?  Most of the items or services we use are created, provided, and maintained by someone else.  In exchange for their goods or services, we give them money so they can purchase goods and services they need for themselves.  In order to make money, you must create something that is valuable for another person or business.  Start asking yourself now, what value would you like to create for someone else?  Who do you want to create value for? How will you deliver that value to them?  How will you continue to improve the value you offer?  A large part of your life will be spent creating and developing value so you might want to focus on something you appreciate or enjoy on some level.

Use less than you create

The secret to having money is spending less than you earn.  It is very easy to lose sight of this basic principle.  It is far easier to consume than it is to create.  Think about all of the things you rely on other people to provide.  Now think of things other people depend on you to provide for them.  Which list is bigger?  Society has created a bridge to this gap called credit and loans.  If you take a loan or use credit you are essentially consuming value that you have not created yet. Look for every option you can to avoid consuming more than you create and minimizing the amount of money you borrow through loans or credit cards. 

Set aside money just in case

Ask any adult you know if they ever had an unexpected expense come up in their life.  Do yourself a favor and set aside a little money every time you get paid.  It will feel good to see a large savings account or big stack of cash in your hands.   Having that money will give you options that other people do not have in the event of an unexpected expense. 

Use money to create more money

The wealthiest members of our society have learned how to use money to create value.  Once you get good at using money to create value, you will have to spend less of your own time and energy creating value for other people.  Investing is the word used to describe this. There are many ways to invest, and you should get in the habit of investing as soon as possible.  If you’re not sure where to begin, get comfortable applying steps 1-5 in your daily life then schedule an appointment with a Fiduciary Financial Planner.    

Enjoy the process

There will never be point where you feel like you have everything figured out and have everything in its place.  Life is in a constant state of flow. Allow yourself to appreciate the good that is here while being eager to receive more as it comes.  

Nico Medina, CFP Start Smart Financial Planning

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