The Power of Money

Mom I got a job at McDonald’s. I want to buy a car!

A first job and a car are part of the American Youth Experience, it is the first step toward adulthood. Buying a car is often a young persons first independent use of money they earned by themselves.

When my grand daughter was about two, she ran to me and said come on, get your purse, get your purse!! I was totally confused, until I realized that there was an ice cream truck near the corner.  Even at two, she understood the present power of money. We all understand the power of money in the immediate sense, money is needed for the things we do.

But do we understand the future power of money? You know all of the clichés:  a penny saved…, save some for a rainy day, and don’t spend it all in one place. The real value behind these simple life lessons is that money has future power.

If you always keep some of the money you earn, you will always have some money. If you rush out to buy something every time you get a dollar, you will never have a dime. There is a second part of that thought. If you never spend any of it, it will not benefit you. There has to be a balance.

Money management is now being taught in many schools, but it is not in all schools yet. With all the gadgets and gizmos out there, our youth need good money management skills. A new video game could cost over $50.00 A trip to the movies is $15.00, and don’t try to buy popcorn. A young person without a plan could spend $100.00 on a Saturday morning without even breaking a sweat.

As the voice of reason in our child’s life, we need to teach them how to handle their money. My advice to the young people around me was like this.

  • Open a savings account put $20 or more in your savings every check.
  • Make a savings goal, and a reward, make a savings goal of $500, when you reach $600 you can spend up to $100. Enjoy the splurge. Up the goal by $500 and repeat the process.
  • Quiz how much money will your child have after the 5th cycle of this little process?
  • $500 cycles = $2500
  • $200 cycles = $1000
  • $100 cycles = $500
  •  Don’t link your savings account to a debit card
  •  Don’t get caught up in the early credit offers. Credit costs money.
  • Use cash all the time.
  •  Don’t go shopping every payday.Save the $40 you would have spent this payday. Save the $40 you would have spent on the next payday. On the third payday, take the $80 you have saved, add $40 from this week and go enjoy yourself.

Now they have more money to work with, they can  make better decisions. Instead of buying a pair of $5 earrings that won’t last, they can buy Gold earrings, at the department store for 70% off. So for $12, they have invested in something that will last them a long while.

  •  Mix up your clothes, buy the designer label stuff when it is on sale. Mix it up with no tag items like shirts, and other accessories.
  • Skip the designer labels and name brands.
  •  Save up for your video game purchases.
  •  Window shopping cost money, don’t go to the store unless you have to.

Teaching our youth about the future power and value of money is one of the most important things, we can do for them. The My Village Project Program, has a complete money section. It covers everything from earnings to saving for retirement.

Consider starting a money class with the youth in your area. See how you influence now could impact their lives forever.

Oh, money lessons work for adults too.

It takes a village to raise a child, this is My Village Project.

Take care of your village

The Village Mother


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