My daughter paid me a really big compliment yesterday. She said, “Mom you never really sat me down and taught me about money but you taught me how to handle money through the way you live” Tears--maybe I've done something right!
This girl is leaving for college in 5 weeks. She really NEEDS to know how to think about money and how to manage it well. After that conversation my worries are a little calmer.
Money is a tool
We've all hear the saying is “love makes the world go around” but I really think it is more like "money keeps the world running in circles. We need a way to pay for food (if we don’t grow it), clothes and a place to live. Beyond those needs it is all pretty optional.
Lesson #1 You can make money but it won’t be easy
Young adults should not compare themselves to their parents. Most adults have 8-5 jobs that cover their household expenses.
That may not be the case for young adults. Jobs may be part time. That means the employer doesn’t have to pay benefits—isn’t that nice of them? But it is reality.
Working 2-3 jobs that are part time maybe a solution and keep debt away.
It will be hard.
I’ve been there. We were DIRT poor for the first 10 years of our marriage for two reasons.
- We were full time students which left little time for working.
- We had HUGE student loans to payoff. I DON’T recommend this by the way. More on that in a later post!
Creative Ideas for making money
- Have several part time jobs or a full time job with a part time side hustle
- Keep your grades up if you are in school and have scholarships. Really it is money that you earn by applying your time to studying.
- Side Hustles—don’t know what this is? Here are 5 links that give great ideas!
Lesson #2 You WILL make dumb choices regarding money
We made every mistake in the book.
- We’ve paid late fees
- We've paid more interest than we had wanted to or had to
- We've overspent on unnecessary and frivolous items
- We've used our time in ways that didn’t earn any money.
All of those make you bang your head against the wall after you have done them. However, those mistakes are good teachers if you listen and see the consequences.
DON’T repeat a mistake just because it is familiar. Seriously.
#1 mistake to avoid - Instant Gratification - Talking to all of us (me included)
Teach yourself to wait. It is hard. We all want that new car or new spring clothes. But let me share a little secret. You don’t NEED those things. You might FEEL like you need them but you don’t. Your car probably will get you where you need to go(unless it needs repairs) even if you are tired of it. Your clothes are probably good for many more washes.
One way to know you really NEED something is to wait. If you aren’t able to do important things—like drive to work because your car is broken down— then you might want to start car shopping. But don’t go out and buy the first shiny, pretty thing that you see.
Wait if you can, for the best deal. Ask around. Maybe someone has the item for sale for cheap. Get creative. Can you ride with someone for a while? Pay them gas while you look for another vehicle? The car situation is just an example but you can apply this to any item that you are considering buying.
My advice? Learn to wait and spend your money in the best way possible even if it takes some extra time. Don’t be impulsive.
Lesson #3 You can make SMART choices regarding money but it won’t be easy
I spent so much time on dumb choices that I think smart choices can be short!
- Ask yourself do you NEED it? Or is it just a want?
- DON’T impulse buy (again with the waiting)
- Big purchases. If you think it is a need and it feels like a huge chunk of money to you. It probably is. But talk to someone who knows you well. Explain why you think it is a need and talk about your finances. See what they say. Sometimes another perspective is what you need.
- Delay gratification. There it is again. Just saying.
Lesson #4 You should save money
Being smart with money can mean finding ways to save it. Here are some of my favorite ways to trim our expenses.
- Share rides with others
- Plan your errands to be done on one day. If you are out then it is less gas to do them as a chunk instead of one every day. Especially if you live in the country like we do.
- Shop around. Especially for the BIG expenses. But for little ones too. Do you shop at the cheaper grocery store or the expensive one.
- Bulk stores are not always the cheapest. Make sure that you are comparing like items to like items.
- Buy second hand. From appliances to cars to furniture to clothing. It saves a lot of money to squeeze the last life out of used items.
- Don’t buy second hand. Somethings are worth investing. Like good shoes--they outlast cheap ones every time and you end up paying less in the long run.
- Shop at garage sales, Good Will and on Craig’s list(and sell on it too)
I know this was a LOT of information! I hope that you gleaned some ideas and thoughts from it. Many of these ideas are NOT taught in school. They need to be shared from generation to generation.
Check out this Tip Sheet that has all of my suggestions for you!
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Watch others. There are many people who have tricks and tips that will save you money, help you make money and will show you how to be smart in your finances. If you have someone like that in your life, USE them and ask them what their advice for you would be.
This is the third day of the 10 day series of Tips for Homeschool Moms. (If you aren't a homeschooler don't click away!!! MANY of these topics will apply all moms!)
10 days of real life lessons NOT learned in school
- Do you know your info?
- Who you gonna call?
- Money doesn't grow on trees
- Car Care Basics
- 2 secret weapons to fix small easy meals
- How do I take care of me?
- Grownup Faith for Young Adults
- Change the world one person at a time aka How not to be a Jerk in life
- 6 Secrets to budget time and resources
- The Relationship Factor
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Also don't miss the posts on these topics--24 other bloggers are contributing to the series!
- 10 days of printables for homeschool moms
- 10 alternate evaluation methods for middle and high school
- 10 days of homeschooling a child with ADHD
- 10 days of road schooling
- 10 days to organize your homeschool
- 10 days of literacy activities
- 10 days to prepare for the upcoming school year
- 10 days of morning resources
- 10 days of nerdy fun
- 10 days of back to school prep
- And SO MUCH more!!!
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