When I was growing up, no one really taught me about managing money. In our family, talking about money was taboo. When I was in high school, my sister borrowed money from me and when I asked her to pay me back, my mother gave me a scolding, telling me that families should not talk about money, much less ask a family member to pay one back, because according to her, money makes families fight and we didn’t want that. So for years, I’ve never openly talked about money, either with my family or with anybody else.
Then when I turned 26, my mom came to me and told me that our business was no longer doing well. We were in debt, which ran into millions of pesos. That was the first time we openly touched on the subject of money. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. I learned, however, that my parents thought that debts were an inevitable part of running a business. And according to my mom, this was what she learned from our grandfather, who also ran a business that survived through debts. Yet if you look at the books, our business was not really profiting because of too much debt and expenses. That was when I realized how crucial we, as parents, are in teaching our kids about money.
It took me years to have a different mindset about money. All these years, I thought ‘money is the root of all evil,’ that ‘working hard is the way to go to earn more,’ ‘that money should be spent because #YOLO!’ Now that I’m a parent and a financial planner, there’s this big pressure on me to make sure our kids get to have the right mindset that will prepare them for the real world. I feel more than providing the best education we can afford, it is more important to teach them the right mindset when it comes to money. So here are four mindsets I want to teach my kids about money.
‘Save first’ mentality. In this day and age where gadgets and material things seem to rule our world, saving before spending has been an afterthought. Saving is the basic principle in personal finance that can give one a strong foundation in money management. Once saving becomes a habit, it gets easier to achieve financial freedom.
Money is not the end goal. There is something bigger and more important than money.
Money is just a tool for us to achieve this bigger goal. I realized that often times we are obsessed with having so much money without knowing where to use it for. We save not because we want money; we save because we might need it for an emergency in the future.
We save because we want to make sure we have money when we need it. Having money is not the goal, having money for something we want to achieve or obtain, whether now or in the future, is our goal.
Money is not evil. How many of you were told that money is the root of all evil and having money is bad? I’m sure many. But the reality is, money is not evil, it is our actions and attitude toward money that can sometimes lead us to do bad things. There is nothing wrong with wanting money because it is important for us to achieve our end goal. We don’t have to feel bad or guilty about it, especially when we know we are working hard to earn it.
Make money work for you. Teaching kids the value of investing money opens their eyes to the possibility of fast-tracking their goals by growing their money with lesser effort than actually working for it themselves. Making them start their own small business could be a good way for them to learn about working hard for their money and eventually making their money work for them.
Jeremy Jessley Tan, RFP is a Registered Financial Planner. For questions on personal finance, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about financial planning, attend the 54th RFP program this May 28,2016. Inquire by e-mail to email@example.com or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.