Never too young

BOPA11FEB09A04_1Lets face it, you are not going to bother to learn about money if you can’t see the relevance of how it affects your life or family’s life, now or in the future.Think about this! Forty three percent of people aged 18-24 have a negative net worth. People are spending $1.14 for every dollar they earn (Sourced from the New Zealand Department of Statistics, May 2008). If you know of people in this age group then nearly half of them owe more than they own. Common sense says that this can not continue.Times have changed over the past few years in the way we handle money. We have gone from a predominantly cash-using society to a cashless society. When I was a child my Dad would give my Mum some cash to spend on food and we learnt when the money was gone it was gone. I learnt I have to wait for things until we had saved cash to pay for them.When I first got a job, I was paid in cash. I saved money in the bank and paid everything else with cash. Now days things happen in reverse and that is why children are growing up with poor cash handling skills. All our pay is paid into the bank (so our children don’t see the cash) and we spend most of our money by electronic means and we save what is left (which often isn’t anything).Your belief systems about money and everything else develop from infancy in four ways. From the things you see, from the things you hear, from the individual events that you experience in your lives, and finally from the influences in your life – your parents, friends, society, culture, teachers and the media. This is the same for your children, they are developing their belief systems about money in this way too. They are continually being infected with “social stories” that they must be this way or that way or have this or that thing to be happy. Some children are growing up thinking that money comes from a hole in the wall, or if you want to buy something that you just use some magic swipe card. So ask yourself, what are my children learning about money from what I do? Are they learning to overspend or borrow for things that depreciate, or to save and spend wisely what they have? Are they learning that investing in assets will keep them financially well or that buying liabilities will make them financially sick?It’s not by chance but choice that determines your financial future. You are Never too young to start learning.