Lesson: I have to start this article by saying I am by no means a financial or money expert by any stretch of the imagination. 🙂 However, I have delved into the financial teachings and books of Dave Ramsey and a few other financial experts over the last year or so and that has taken my financial knowledge to a whole new level! My parents were also excellent models of good financial stewardship so I learned a lot from their example as well. Still, I can’t believe how much I did not know about money! I have learned so many financial nuggets over the last year and they are definitely life lessons that I want to impart upon my children and share with others.
Actually, we should all be teaching our children about money and I hope this article inspires everyone to do so. I also hope it does not condemn anyone who has not been the best manager of their finances thus far in life. Remember, it’s never too late until it’s too late! Anyone can start making changes to be a better example of wise financial management for their children. One thing is for sure, we can’t let the world be the example for our children! The overall messages that society sends about money and finances are short-sighted and void of wisdom. My takeaway message from all the books and articles I have been reading is, “Live like others won’t live now (below your means), so later in life, you will be able to live like no one else IS ABLE to live!”
My husband and I totally grasped that message in more than one way! Just think about it, do we have to have the lux name brands clothes, the luxury cars, the big diamonds, the apartment or house with the “status” the zip code? When you ask the average college graduate what they want for their future, what do they say? I would guess that a lot of them want money, they want a good paying job so they live a certain way and buy stuff! Do they really need to get a brand new car with a $400-$500 car note right out of college? Check out this Dave Ramsey fact: “If you invested $495 per month (instead of paying a car note of that amount) from the age of twenty-five to age sixty-five, a normal working lifetime, in the average mutual fund averaging 12 percent (the eighty-year stock market average), you would have $5,881,799.14 at age sixty-five.” If that doesn’t BLOW YOUR MIND & make you want to live life differently financial then I don’t know what will! If I would have read a Dave Ramsey book at the age of 25 I would have done a lot of things differently! 🙂 Here are some great takeaways that will probably be a huge paradigm shift for most, but if applied, will give you and your children financial freedom in a way that most will never experience in this lifetime, putting you in a position to live like no one else is able to live.
- Live BELOW your means
My parents set the example of this one best! Although both of my parents worked full-time while I was growing up, we lived off of one income. My father’s income supported our family and my parents used my mother’s income to pay off their mortgage early and save for the future. When I was in the 5th grade I remember them being so excited about paying our house off early. I had no idea what it meant to pay off a 30-year mortgage in less than 15 years but now I know why they were so excited! 🙂 Living below your means may mean sacrificing luxury early in life but the reward later will be greater. I wish I had applied this step more intentionally earlier in life!
- Don’t buy ANYTHING you can’t purchase IN CASH
This step can really help you spend less! It’s so easy to pull out a debit card or credit card and swipe. Especially if we know there is money in the bank account for whatever we want at the moment. If you limit your purchases to the cash you have in hand, you figure out that you can go without a lot of things. In our culture of overindulgence and mass consumption, we waste so much money, most of the time because we can’t delay our gratification and save for what we want. We want what we want now, and when we don’t have the money for it we take out a loan or swipe a card, often paying sky-high interest on top of the purchase. 🙁
- Get out of debt
This step is major!!! This book did an excellent job at pointing out the amount of interest the average American pays for their cars, houses, credit cards and loans.
An example that really stood out to me in the book was mortgage interest.
For a home with the purchase price of $250,000 with $25,000 down payment at a 7% interest rate, would cost someone $485,636 by the end of your 30-year mortgage and $341,762 by the end of a 15-year mortgage. (Both significantly more than the value of the house.) When most people pick a house and get a mortgage loan they don’t think about how much interest they will pay in the end. Think about what we could do with all that extra money!
- Invest wisely once you’re out of debt
I’m still learning a lot about this step but what I know for sure is if you invest wisely, your money can work for you instead of you working your entire life to make money. That’s the dream, right? Having the freedom to enjoy my family every day and not get lost in the working “rat race” that so many of us find ourselves in, robbing the quality of our lives. For us, an enriched quality of life is spending our days with our loved ones, doing what we enjoy, fulfilling our passions, giving back to our community, enjoying every day as it comes. My husband and I have decided, that if that’s the return that we can get on our investment, then we are fully on board with sacrificing now so we can live freely later! January 2018 we will commence our “snowball” to start our financial makeover journey! Won’t you except the challenge and join us? 🙂
Application: READ THIS BOOK! It will totally change the way you look at money, it will give you tools and resources to educate your children about money & it will set your family up for a prosperous future!