Growing up I never really had a role model when it came to finances. My mother was a single-parent who was disabled, so she did not work. We were definitely poor and struggled to have the basic necessities at times. She did not always make the most sound decisions with money, but money was very limited anyway, so it did not really matter that much.The people I knew who had money, however, generally lived paycheck to paycheck. I remember telling myself if I was ever able to change my circumstances, I would do things better.
I learned my financial frugality by reading books, articles and really anything I could find online to educate myself. Since I was 19 years old, I have been slowly saving money, trying diligently to become financially independent. At this moment my wife and I have a little over $400,000 (counting our school retirements, which is really not that much sadly) and hopefully we will reach that millionaire mark by our late 40s. Along the way, I hope to teach my son and future kid (my wife is pregnant again) what it takes to be financially responsible.
Having a child was one of the great moments of my life and perhaps one of the scariest. I did not have a father growing up and I was afraid I would not be a good father. I imagined sharing my philosophy on life, playing golf and teaching him to be financially savvy. My son is only 3, so I still have plenty of time to raise him.
My biggest fear is that he will make boneheaded financial decisions or one day marry someone who is financially inept. I can imagine my wife and I saving all our life and later our kids blowing all the money. Hopefully, I can teach them how to save and preserve their wealth.
As my son and future child get older, I will inevitably open up a savings account for them and later allow them to buy stocks. I strongly believe in teaching them how to invest. You might ask what companies should a kid invest in? Always have them invest in something they know. This makes it more real to them because they know the product. Walt Disney or Hasbro would be great examples. So, instead of buying them useless birthday or Christmas gifts that they will get tired of in a month or two, give them $100 dollars to invest.
By starting early, I hope that I can make saving and investing a way of life for them. We send our kids to school to learn English, History, Mathematics and yet do very little when it comes to preparing them to be financially literate. If you feel that you are struggling with your own finances, now is to the time to educate yourself. Your kids financial well-being depends on it. I strive everyday to be a better person for my family and I know that I fall short at times, but I never stop trying. Take the time to become the role model your kids deserve. How do you teach your kids to be financially savvy? Your experiences are always welcomed.
P.S. If you were looking at the picture and noticed that I look like a mountain man that is because I had the bright idea of letting all my hair grow out. Let’s just call it a midlife crisis or something. My son has started calling me teddy bear. It is great to be a dad.