My parents were instrumental in teaching me the biggest financial lesson of my life. My motivation to be educated, empowered and independent stems from the tough experiences my mom endured as a woman, wife and eventually single mother. Witnessing her hardship of having to raise four kids all on her own, I vowed that I would not be left in a similar position and this is what led to my passion for financial education.
As parents, we play a critical role in how our kids turn out as adults. Parenting today has evolved and we have become more involved, more conscious and rightfully so, as we raise our kids in a challenging and complex modern environment. We must equip them with life skills from a young age so that they can survive and thrive as adults in what will become an even more competitive and challenging environment.
Women have travelled a difficult journey over the years. Our predecessors have had to fight for gender equality, the right to work, the right to have a seat at the table and as parents of daughters, we must ensure that we provide the foundation for which they believe they can stand tall, that they can stand on their own and that they can stand up for themselves.
Our belief and value system is instilled in us from a young age, primarily obtained from our parents. Our attitude and behaviour with money is largely as a result of witnessing how our parents felt and treated money. So it is important that we practice what we preach and use positive language when talking about money.
Here are some essential money principles you can use when passing on matters regarding money to your daughters:
- Money gives you options
- Follow your passion
- Have your own money, always
- Know your rights
- Be involved, Be aware and Be informed
Money gives you options
People always refer to money as the root of all-evil. This is not necessarily true as our value system plays a large role in how we earn and spend money. Being in a position where you have financial abundance allows you to live the lifestyle you want and to help others to achieve their goals and dreams too. Our daughters should never be made to feel guilty about earning or spending money if it is done in an ethical way.
Follow your passion
If you listen to the advice offered by the most successful people in the world, the common advice they all offer, is that if you follow your passion, the money will follow. Finding your passion allows you to live a life of purpose and you end up doing what you love. There is nothing worse than earning an income from a job you dislike. There will be no motivation to grow and succeed. Following one’s passion provides a sense of purpose and joy and when this is rewarded with money it is far more fulfilling than earning money from a job one hates.
Have your own money, always.
From the time we are little, little girls are led to believe that their knight in shining armor will come along and rescue them (often known as the Cinderella complex). In the financial planning industry, we often witness many women transferring their financial rights to their male spouses. Many women give up their financial power in lieu of raising the kids and managing the household. Their financial value becomes underestimated as a result of not contributing financially to household expenses. Teach your daughters that whilst there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom, it is critical to have proper conversations about money and what if scenarios. Having their own money, gives them the option of getting out of potentially harmful situations.
Know your rights
Women have played the submissive role for far too long and many women have the wool pulled over their eyes because they do not know their legal rights. As a result, they are bullied into situations where they have no control. Know where to go if you need advice. Teach your daughters to know their rights, to not sign contracts they don’t understand or incur debt they can’t afford.
Be involved, Be aware and Be informed
Many women have taken a back seat when it comes to financial matters of the household. Not being involved can have disastrous consequences especially when there is a major lifestyle change caused by death or divorce. Make sure that your daughters are aware of the importance of saving for the things they want and to plan for the long term. Many of us spend exorbitant amounts on how we look and feel, on things that matter in the short term, yet we haven’t given much thought to put money aside for things like emergencies, education and retirement. Teach your daughters to take control of their financial lives from a young age.
As a mom myself, I know how many things we need to juggle. It is sometimes impossible to be in control always. However, we have a duty to make sure that we raise strong independent women so that they can stand tall, stand on their own and stand up when they need to.