When I was born my parents weren't exactly in the best financial position. I've heard stories about their struggles throughout my years, and even have some memories of rough times when I was a bit older. Through it all, they always managed to pull themselves out of the hole they were in. We always had a roof over our heads and food to eat. Along the way, I picked up some financial knowledge that has helped me in my adult life, and I'm now passing that knowledge on to my teen-aged brothers. Here are three financial tools I'm teaching my teen-aged brothers.
Last holiday season, my 16-year-old brother was in the market to make a very large purchase, the biggest of his young life. My husband and I took him to the shop, walked with him to the counter, and let him handle the transaction from there. We made him tell the clerk what he was looking for, how much he had to spend, and then let him decide if he had enough money to afford it after taxes. He was very nervous, but the clerk was more than helpful. In the end, my brother got the item he was after, and some very important lessons in negotiation.
This lesson was taught to both bothers, but was mostly aimed at the 15-year-old. This young man has a tendency to waste his money on things like sodas and fast food. In order to show him how saving for a few months could get him something nice, I sat them both down and showed them the math.
They each had $30 to start with, and after their birthdays, which were a month and two months away, they would each have around $100. Then, add in all their other birthday gifts and potential Christmas money, and they could have saved nearly $200 in three months.
Both brothers loved the idea, but neither succeeded at the goal; however, I'm hopeful the lesson will help them in the future.
Recently, a neighbor offered my brothers a weekend job doing some yard work. When he asked how much they would charge, they had no idea where to start with pricing. My husband and I walked them through all the things they needed to consider like gas cost, equipment maintenance, labor, and more. They decided that $20 would cover their costs and labor, so that's what they went with. Even though we thought it should have been a little more considering the size of the yard, we didn't interfere.
All and all, these things are lessons they needed to be taught, even if they didn't apply them correctly right away. I'm a firm believe that some of the best lessons come from the mistakes we make along the way.
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- Banking & Budgeting