A little over a year ago, I applied for my first credit card. My name, my bank account, my money – no one else’s. This card was a first for me, representing a pivotal moment in my life.
Up until this point, I carried a Visa credit card with my name that beared my father’s money. The card was for groceries, textbooks, and vital purchases. It was not to support my spontaneous dinner dates with friends, shopping trips, or other impulsive purchases.
But then January 2017 rolled around and my father, being the financially-savvy man that he is, decided it was time for me to start establishing credit of my own. We decided a Discover student card was the perfect match for me. 1% cash back on all purchases, no fees, rewards for good grades – how could I say no?
When I finally received the strawberry red card in the mail, I wasn’t allowed to activate it without my father’s warning.
“Don’t miss a payment, Maggie. Never just pay the minimum. Be responsible,” my dad cautioned.
With auto-payments set and my father’s advice constantly on my mind, I’m proud to say that my Discover card is used responsibly every month, which is something not many of my friends can say. Frankly, not many of my friends even possess credit cards of their own. Of course, every family is different, every circumstance is different, but I can’t help but think, “Will they be prepared for financial independence? Will I be prepared for financial independence?”
So, Through Wolf’s Eyes readers, I ask you to help prepare the iGeneration for a future without the safety net of our parents. We want you to pass along your lifetime of experience to us so that we may become financially sound.
Teach Us About Taxes
I’ve received pay stubs in the mail and seen the taxes come out of my paycheck. On the surface, I know what taxes are. But, I’ve never had an in-depth lesson on what exactly they mean and how to file them during tax season. After all, high schools and universities don’t provide a “crash course” on life, unfortunately.
We turn to you to teach us proper practices. Although my dad is just a phone call away, it is crucial that I learn these things before I graduate college and become independent from my parents. Do your children a favor: give them the skills to succeed before they officially leave your roof.
Teach Us About Investments
My friend brought up an interesting point the other day. She said, “I wish my parents told me that there are other things to do with your money than keep it in the bank.”
That statement really resonated with me. I have so many questions about investments and the stock market that I don’t even know where to begin, and I know my peers feel the same.
According to my dad, I have shares of different companies, all of which I have never even seen. Perhaps it’s shame on me for not inquiring about this earlier, but these questions need to be on everyone’s minds.
Share your decision-making process with young people. What do you look for in an investment? How do you distinguish between a safe investment and a risky one? How closely do you need to monitor investments? The iGeneration needs this wisdom and more.
Teach Us How to Live Within Our Means
When we are young, we are told we can be anything we want to be and do anything we want to do. Well, I want to live in New York City, but with a starting salary of $40,000, that dream seems impossible. But, if I am financially smart, there must be a way to make it happen, right?
Talk to your children about building a budget and what their daily expenses will look like. Help your children fulfill their dreams, but make sure they are being reasonable. I’m going to do my best to make it in New York City, but if I can’t survive on the money I make, then it’s better to relocate than accumulate debt.
You all built lives for yourselves, so who better to teach us how to do this than you?
Talking about money can sometimes be awkward, but pick a day, set a time, and sit down with your children or grandchildren to pass along your knowledge. Answer their questions and prepare them for success! Are you curious as to what else young kids like me want to know about finances? Ask A Pup!
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Whether you are an avid TWE reader or first time downloader, a member of the iGeneration or on the brink of retirement, my hope is that through this eBook you can discover what matters most to you in life and and time to appreciate it all.