5 Financial Lessons to Teenagers.

Growing up as a child is fun and full of fond memories that travel years back to when we were just teenagers.

Children are known to be playful, adventurous and mischievous. They can go the extra mile in pursuit of that thing that will give them joy and pleasure including swimming naked in a crocodile infested river.

However, that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about what money was like to you during childhood. A child or young teenager rarely thinks about money, first because they live comfortably (it could also be uncomfortable) with their parents who provide, have no financial obligations to anybody, are told to study hard in school. The subject of money between teens and their parents in most homes is a no go zone let alone sex.

Most of these subjects, when mentioned by teens, most parents usually reprimand them or for instance ask them what they want money for. Nevertheless, it is written in the good books that train a child the way he should go and he will not depart away from it.

Most parents shy from the subject of sex in most homes and do not want their children or teens to talk about money either with the assumption that they will love money and not study hard in school. How wrong!!

As such, we grow up with sketchy and shallow financial knowledge. We learn about saving and investing in our 20’s when years have already flown by.

It is against this backdrop that I wanna mention 5 things your parent never told you and should have told you as a teenager.

  1. Have Financial Discipline.

As a child and teenager, you were always reprimanded and whacked for indiscipline and petty mistakes like failing to follow instructions, noise making, stealing food, fighting and many other mistakes. All these, you did and you were caned because your parent, guardian or teacher loved you and wanted to instill discipline in you.

However, there is a discipline that many parents usually forgot to instill in their children; that is financial discipline. Any time as teenagers we would hear about money was when we were being sent to the shops to buy bread. Unfortunately, most of our parents were in tough financial burdens and were not themselves happy either to talk about money.

Subsequently, one grows up to be a good, law abiding citizen espousing the highest form of integrity and honor. On the hand, this law-abiding citizen is a reckless spender and has no savings or investment of any kind. This citizen ends up struggling financially simply because no financial virtues of living below your means, saving and investing were ever instilled in him. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 21:20 he who sets money aside daily saves big money in the long run but a foolish man spends up everything. Lack of setting aside 10% of our income  to save for the future has led to many facing financial walls and struggle with life due to lack of a cushion to fall back on. Secondly, no savings no investment. Your savings are able to save you in a rainy day, help you start a business or clear a loan.

  1. Learn to Say No.

Parents love their children and want the best for them and therefore, parents protect, guide and provide for their children. They tell them what is considered good behavior and bad. Most parents discourage their children from eating in neighbor’s homes; tell them to say no to strangers and bad company.

Despite their willingness to give better, parents fall short of telling their kids to saying no to activities and behaviors that will darken their financial future such as gambling, alcoholism and casual teen sex.

Activities such as this will end up enslaving teenagers to behaviors that will or might render them broke, addicted and sick. As such teenagers must be made to understand what is good, what is bad and what is morally accepted. This puts them in a good position to rationalize issues and make informed decisions about anything they want do and say no to whatever is bad and destructive.

  1. Do Not Love Sleep and Pleasure.

Sleep and pleasure are two surefire ways of staying broke and begging. Anyone who has chosen to live above his means because of pleasure does not have the future in mind but only the present. The wise in Proverbs 6:5 writes that sluggards should learn from the ants, consider her ways and they will be wise. Punctuality is an important habit for success.

Pleasure takes or comes in many forms including drinking and partying, laying idle, buying of expensive shoes and clothing, going for tours, site seeing and vacations to your dream destination. However, too much of something is poisonous. Even billionaires go on vacation once in a while  but the rest of time they are busy sowing wood. Teenagers with lazy parents learn from what they see and hear and pick the cues from their parents.

Sleep was only made to be understood as a tool for rest and not an enemy of success. 6 hours are recommended as the bare minimum a normal human being can rest. Too much of sleep kills productivity and prevents one from making financial progress. King Solomon says, a little closing of your eyes and folding your arms and poverty will attack like an armed robber. This Christian verses conveys the message that riches and sleep do not go hand in hand.

  1. Walk With People of Substance.

Bill Gates had a Paul Allen; Steve Jobs had a Tim Cook.  In life every single one of us is on a life journey. Destiny is in our own hands, and that destiny is shaped by the choices we make daily. The things you eat today, friends you have, books you read, whatever you hear and listen to ultimately determine where you will be 5-10 years down the line.

Walker used to walk with a pastor friend who had another pastor friend. 7 years later Walker became a powerful church minister and is now ordained as a bishop within the church denomination.

27 year old Martha is a law graduate. She intends to get married to Amos an accountant. However, Martha’s friends are mostly in their 30’s and most of them are single and divorced. They say a thing like “men are dogs”, “I cannot be a housewife” and “marriage is terrible”.

It was not long before Martha broke up with her handsome boyfriend and started singing the same tune as her friends.

2 years later, Amos was married with a kid while Martha was still single and whining.

Birds of the same feather flock together. Who is your best friend?? If all friends you know are losers in one way or another, you would rather walk alone.

  1. Have a Mentor.

Rather than learn from mistakes in your own life, it is prudent to learn from the mistakes of those who have lived ahead of you.

A mentor is not your biological dad or mum (they could also be)but he is like a life parent to you. He guides and takes you through the stages of life with a lot of counsel, wisdom and understanding whenever you fall.

For us to avoid the many traps and ensnares set before us in our finances, career, relationships and life at large we need a life coach to see us through.

Our parents never talked about mentors in our lives; but as one grows into a young adult life becomes ridden with puzzles that call for wise counsel. In life, it is always important to get good advice from others.

Add any other thing not mentioned that our parents never told us as teenagers and leave a comment.


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