I want my kids to grow up with a firm handle on personal financial responsibility, embedded in their little brains tomorrow as deeply and comfortably as the things they do so effortlessly today. Technology
and music are two things that come to mind as things that come easily, they enjoy and don't even have to think about. That's where I want them to be with money. Comfortable and confident. I'm working on the plan that will hopefully pay off for them down the road. (work in progress!)
My friends at smartcookies.com recently asked, "What are your two biggest financial challenges?" Great question. Most responses were eliminating debt and saving money. As I read through, I kept coming back to a few basics that are important at any level... fusing the two, a new toy!
Financial iPOD would make a great gift for anyone! I'd like my kids to rock out to the sweet financial musings of CNBC. HA! Forget the toy, let's get practical...
iPlanning Organizing Discipline
When we fail to plan, we plan to fail. It is clear that we don't do enough planning. Too busy, who has the time?! We've got to make time for the things that are important. Planning time to make sure we are on track to achieving family and personal goals is always time well spent. I try to keep the components of the plan in front of us. Allowance, bills, what things cost, 529 savings and statements. Good planning and communication of that plan is good for business. "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan" Eleanor Roosevelt
"Don't agonize, organize", "Organize your life around your dreams and watch your dreams come true", "Order is the foundation of all things". Take your pick! Your personal financial systems, bills, goals, etc., have to be aligned is such a way that you can make sense of it, understand it, and manage it to improve. When chaos, or a lack of understanding reigns supreme in this area, bad things happen! My online folders and accounts are organized like my sock drawer. Ha! (mint.com helps too) The kids have their savings passbooks, where they stockpile allowance, and a log of spend/save/give (spotty usage- I need to do better here.) Next, I want to put together binders for their 529 statements so they can see what goes in. I think it's a good entry point into market discussions too. Mailed statements have their names on it, that's always fun.
Discipline doesn't mean we get taken out to the wood shed when we make a mistake. It simply means we need to have the self-discipline to commit to a well thought out plan, good organized practices, and continuous improvement along the way. The greatest plan in the world is a colossal failure if not acted upon.
Until Apple churns out a Financial iPOD... We'll keep workin' it everyday.