I wish I had a financial advisor as a kid

by Kristina on March 27, 2014 · 11 comments

Good morning Dinks.  As you know I have had my share of financial struggles in the past.  I don’t regret my financial mistakes as a teenager and in my 20s because they made me into the responsible adult I am today.  However I do wish that I learned the easy way how to manage my money.  I wish I learned how to manage my money the right way the first time instead of having to learn from my mistakes.  Maybe my parents should have taught me about money or maybe they should have make me an appointment with a financial advisor.

It’s important for kids to learn about good money habits as young as possible so they can form good money values as they grow up and not make the same mistakes I did.  As a teenager and young adult I accepted every credit card offer mailed to me and I overspent to avoid dealing with my feelings.  I never learned how to manage money or how to budget as a child and I ended up over $50,000 in debt in my 20s because of it.

Money lessons I wish I learned as a kid:

How to budget my money.  I wish I did this more as a child.  When I got my weekly allowance I just spent it as soon as possible.  This is a habit that stayed with me as an adult.  I lived pay check to pay check for many years because I didn’t know the value in saving money.  I didn’t know that saving money could help accomplish everything I wanted in life like travelling.  I really love travelling but I only started doing it in my 30s because I couldn’t afford it when I was younger.

I thought having a budget meant I spent the money I had and then waited for my next pay check.  I didn’t know I had to live within my means and make room for saving.  If I did I wouldn’t have had to live with the stress of living pay check to pay check.  If I learned how to budget as a kid my life as an adult would have been a lot easier.

Set financial goals and work towards them.  I had absolutely no financial goals in my 20s expect to make it to my next pay check.  I paid my bills (not always in full), put food in my belly and bought pretty things for my apartment.  That was about all the goals I had.  As a child I wish I sat down and set financial goals such as saving for college.  If I did my life in college probably would have been a lot easier.  I could have worked less and I probably would have had better grades.

The importance of saving.  Lots of banks offer kids accounts with no fees.  This allows them to make deposits and save money from their birthday gifts, their allowance or a part time job.  If I had this as a kid maybe I would have learned to save instead of spending all my money on CDs and clothes.  Don’t laugh but I was really addicted to Columbia House CD club when I was younger.  Remember that mail order music service?

Photo by Good N Crazy

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen @Sprout Wealth March 27, 2014 at 5:36 am

Don’t many of us adults wish the same? If I knew what I know now when I was younger, money won’t be as much of a problem as it was at some points in my life. Nonetheless, the important thing is we now know and that we are doing something about it.

2 Kathy March 27, 2014 at 9:31 am

When my son was little I made him save 1/2 his allowance. If he wanted an expensive item, I told him how much I would contribute and he had to save up for the rest. It taught him to really think about what he wanted to spend his money on.

3 Isaac R. Allen March 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm

It would be great if some of these financial lesson could be learned as a child. More importantly, it would be fantastic is the lesson was learned and then applied.

4 James March 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Good point – the message you send to your children regarding money is one which they are likely to accept and live out for the rest of their lives.

5 Nik @ Midlife Finance March 28, 2014 at 12:11 am

Good for you to realize the value of saving money. We learn from our mistakes and the best thing is that we’re changing our attitude towards handling our finances.

6 Shawna @ Money Misfit March 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I am so with you on this. When I think back about the money I made as a teenager, which I spent as soon as I got it, I just shudder at all the lost possibilities. My parents never really explained the importance of things like this, but hey, at least I know now, right? :)

7 Anneli @thefrugalweds March 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Ditto!! We were actually just having this conversation with my husband today while at lunch with my little sister. My little sister is 19 and at the cusp of adulthood. I wish I knew everything I know now at her age! I would have had much more money now LoL!
I think when we finally have children, my husband and I will make sure to set them up well financially – not necessarily monetarily, but by providing financial knowledge at an early age. Compound interest is the real deal! A savings mentality is something we want to cultivate with our future children! Thanks for this post :-)

8 Kristina March 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm

@Jen oh I feel the exact same way! I am a better person because I survived my financial struggles, but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way.

I wish schools would teach kids about money just like they teach them to play sports. The world would be better off but credit card companies may not like it.

9 dojo March 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

With you on this: made mistakes, they were useful, but I’d rather have known this stuff in the first place :D

Reason for us to try and educate our daughter the right way. If this will help her in life, then we’ve not wasted our time.

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