Yesterday, my brother graduated from high school. It was a very emotional moment to say the least. My parents were tearing up. I was mostly emotional because the ceremony did NOT go over 4 hours which was very wonderful:)
I could not help but see the ocean of fresh, hopeful faces and feel a little reflective. What did the future hold for these
kids young adults? Would it be promising? Would they just make a bunch of financial mistakes and then blame it on youthful innocence? I couldn’t help but look back when I was their ages and cringe a little on what kind of decisions I was making. I certainly could have used a little direction myself, but being the oldest child, I was unfortunately left in the dark about a lot of lessons in life. For better or worse, it certainly would have been nice to have someone older showing me the way. I am lucky to have had come from a two parent household, but I didn’t really have an older mentor letting me know about life’s all to common little bumps and bruises. I look at my younger brother and hope that he is learning the right things for a more successful future.
This brings me to my point: what kind of financial example are you setting for others? You may argue that your decisions may not affect others, but they almost always do. If your younger siblings are constantly seeing you throw your overdue bills in the trash or take out pay day loans, they may turn around and do the same thing too. If your kids are forced to eat ramen noodles everyday because you can’t balance your budget, what effect will that have on them? They may grow up to be super awesome savers because they do not want to repeat those same financial mistakes but they may not as well. My actions do affect others which gives me even a greater push to be a more fiscally responsible person or to at least try harder.
I gave my brother money as a his graduation present. He was very thankful and immediately said he would be putting it into his savings account and not touch it. I was very proud of his wise decision. Maybe he will be alright after all. Now it is up to me to make sure the example I set will be one that he can be proud of.