Does Your Teen Want to be Rich? Have them Read This:

Hi tween or teen!

I get it. Chances are you’re reading this, but it’s not something that you really want to do. I’m sure you’d rather be unloading the dishwasher or folding the laundry, but I’m happy that you are at least giving this blog a chance. I wrote it to help kids like you not become adults like the ones that I counsel. So you want to be rich some day?  The people I counsel wanted that too. Many of them are doctors or high-ranking business people. Some have attended colleges like Harvard and Stanford. But their jobs and degrees haven’t saved them; they are all in big trouble with their money. They experience great stress. They argue with their spouses. They feel like they’re in bondage.
So how did they get there? Why was a $300,000 annual income not enough to be rich? Why were so many of these people driving expensive cars like BMWs and Mercedes but not even able to pay for them? The bank really owned their cars, and these high-income earners owned merely the stress of the debt. Believe me, seeing the pain and pressure they were under shocked me.

They had all become slaves to debt. Banks and credit card companies owned them and held their freedom. They could not enjoy a good night’s sleep because they lay awake in the grip of worry. They didn’t have the freedom to change jobs if they wanted to because they couldn’t go two weeks without a paycheck. They felt trapped—and indeed they were.

But you won’t have to live like that. Your parents have taken a stand and are making a purposeful effort to help you create habits that will ensure your freedom as an adult. They want to help you be free to take any job you want and to live a life free of financial stress. That’s what being rich is.

Let me tell you how they plan to help you. The first way is being sure you don’t develop a See-and-Spend habit. Many kids your age have made a habit out of wanting almost everything they see that looks the least bit appealing. At a baseball game, they want a hot pretzel at the snack bar even though they are not hungry. And so what if they feel a little rumble in their tummy—is a $5 pretzel ever a wise idea? At the zoo, they want a tattoo of a lion painted on their face. In the cafeteria at school, they grab a Gatorade every day even though it costs $1.50– and the milk would have been free. If their friend gets a cute new sweatshirt for her birthday, they now want one too. You get the idea.

Consumerism is a habit that destroys adults. We live in a culture where advertisers prey on unsuspecting kids and adults by creating a need or a desire and then offering their product to fulfill that desire. Stop being one of their victims by continuing to wish, desire, dream, and buy.

The Bible says, “Whoever loves wealth will never have enough. Whoever loves riches will never be satisfied” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Don’t you want to be satisfied? Don’t you want to have enough? A bucket with holes in it can never be filled up no matter how much water is poured inside. Likewise, a person who has insatiable desires can never make enough money to satisfy themselves. Sad. They can never feel rich.

So pay attention to your day-to-day experiences. Your parents will be doing their best to not give you everything you want because they do not want you to grow into an adult who cannot be satisfied with less. They love you and want you to be an adult who is not in trouble financially. When you leave their house one day, you will not have much money at all. That’s called “getting started.” If you get in the habit now of buying whatever you want, you will never have enough money to pay your bills in the future. It might seem like fun now, but it won’t be fun later. And later lasts a lot longer than the present.

The second thing is to be sure you understand the importance of saving. I heard a teenager once say that teens should spend everything they earn now because, when they are older, they won’t be able to. That is really bad advice. Actually now is the only time in your life when you won’t have your own bills to pay with your money. So if you earn money now, you have the chance to save a lot of money for when you are older.

The people we helped with their money problems didn’t understand the importance of saving money. They planned to save all the “leftover” money, but without careful planning, we rarely have any leftover money to save. The key to having money for savings is to make a budget. Even multi-million dollar companies have budgets. They are definitely not just for people with a little money. They definitely aren’t bad. They will actually set you free.

I like to think of a budget as a protected swim area at the beach or at a lake. The ropes indicate to the swimmers where it’s safe to swim. Lifeguards can watch them there. No boats can enter this area. But if a swimmer foolishly swims beyond the ropes, lifeguards can no longer protect them. Plus, a boat might accidently hit them. It just doesn’t make sense to take a risk like that. Budgets keep people safe by providing a safe place to spend their money.

Even as a teen, you can practice budgeting by deciding to devote a certain percentage of your money to a savings account and a certain percentage to help others. The rest you can spend, but I would even divide that money into “pocket money,” entertainment money, and luxury purchases. Those basics will help you begin to control your money so it never controls you.

Finally, debt= bondage. Debt is like slavery. Debt simply means money you spend that you don’t even really have yet. Debt relies on the future, which is completely unknown. Banks and credit card companies love to loan you money for houses, cars, clothes and even groceries. They don’t care what you buy with it because they make money regardless.

Let me explain this in more detail with a quick example: Kelsey decides to splurge on someclueless-piles-of-clothes back-to-school clothes at the mall. She charges $500 on her credit card. But when the bill arrives, she is unable to pay for it so she just pays a small part of the bill, a minimum payment. After 5 years she has still not paid for all the clothes, yet the clothes are all at Goodwill. She has already paid $700 for the clothes and yet she still owes more, and the clothes are gone. That’s caused my interest payments on the debt.

You live in a culture where debt is common, encouraged, and even expected. But God’s Word calls debt slavery. It says the buyer is slave to the lender. Until the debt is paid in full, the buyer must continue to take his hard-earned money and pay for what he bought in the past as well as extra money (interest) just for the privilege of borrowing the money. Make a commitment now that you will never borrow money from a credit card company. Ever. Now find someone you love and trust and tell them you made this commitment. Ask them to hold you accountable!

That’s really about all there is to it. Your mom and dad want you to be happy. They want you to be able to live on your own. They love you and will do what they need to do to help you learn how to control your money so that it never controls you. Then you will feel rich indeed.




Does Your Teen Want to be Rich? Have them Read Thisimages

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