On the road to financial freedom, we are most prone to emulating the lives and habits of those we learn from. And, more often than not, those models are our parents. Some of us had parents who exhibited awesome financial habits, and managed to learn from them. Others of us were not so fortunate, and may have developed poor financial habits and practices. But that doesn’t mean all is lost or that it’s too late to change direction. Over at the Art of Manliness, guest contributor Jeff Rose shares a couple tips that will help us to not make the same money mistakes as some of our parents. Keep in mind, that these tips are things you will have to work on with diligence; a lot of lessons we learn self consciously, and can be hard to shake. Check them out after the jump!
- It’s all in the mindset: Thoughts such as debt being inescapable or financial hardship just being part of life are usually just poppycock. While certain hardships do come, folding to defeat or using them as an excuse for poor habits are no way to improve your condition. Maybe the reason you believe these things are because of what you have been taught as a child. But the first step to correcting this mentality is coming into a sense of self awareness. This idea of change starting with the mind is far from self evident, and by all means, you should share this with others less fortunate than you. Anyway, how do we break free from the prison of our minds; how should we frame these situations? Again, it starts with awareness. If ever you find yourself jealous of the material gains of those around you, do not automatically blame it on circumstances or the idea that they have more than you. Take a step back and look at your own financial habits. What are you doing differently? What are you not-so-great at or what could you be doing better? Consider that you don’t have all the answers, and look around you, ready to emulate better role models.
- Mentorship: Next, you’re going to have to find a model to stick with. This may seem to be unnecessary at first, but you will soon enough realize that there are a ton of nuances to the finance game, and have questions upon questions. It would certainly help if someone could answer them! A good first step is joining a personal finance site (like this one!) that is teeming with tips for the person trying to gain control of their wealth. Rose suggests The Debt Movement and Enemy of Debt. Or, you could take the old fashioned route, and pick up a book by a reputable finance guru like David Ramsey or Napoleon Hill. Next up, you should definitely try to forge a more personal relationship. Unless you know a financial powerhouse firsthand, it can be a bit awkward to start a relationship like that. So what can you do? For starters, why not reach out to financial institutions and directly ask questions for experts in that field? Want to learn about loans? Talk to a loan officer. Interested in small business? Talk to the owner of your favorite shop!