Financial Lessons for My Son
My son is only 18 months old, too young to actually teach anything about money. Given what I do for a living, I have started to think about what I would like him to think about money.
- Money isn’t evil. Having a lot it doesn’t make you a bad person. If you got that money through immoral means, that is evil, but you can do a lot of good in the world if you have some money.
- You get money through work. Work your butt off.
- You have more choice if you make smarter choices with your money. If you save your money, then you’ll have choices later in life that other people won’t have.
- You save a lot of money if you don’t care what people think about you. The richest people I know look like vagrants and drive old utes because they don’t care what people think about them.
- Don’t use money to show someone that you love them. A lot of people spend money instead of time. You’ll get a better return on time.
- Debt is dumb. The only debt I ever want you to have is a mortgage, and then I want you to work like a dog to pay it off.
- Buy the best second-hand car that you can for cash and drive it until it dies. Depreciation and ego are expensive.
- A poor person who lives within their means has more dignity than a rich person who’s up to their eyeballs in debt—even though it might not look like it from the outside.
- If you mess up, there is pride to be had in taking responsibility and paying back your debts, but don’t make the same mistake again.
- Don’t try to be too clever. You’re smart; I’m sure you’ll be smarter than me, but don’t try to be too clever with investments or tax.
- Brush your teeth—dental work is really expensive.
- Use a written budget—you can’t control something that you don’t measure. And your Dad will be really proud of you.
What do you want to teach your kids about money?