Dear Paul B,
I am 14, and I never seem to have any money. I get allowance every week, and it seems to be gone before the weekend, and I can’t get a loan from anyone in my family. If my friends would give me back the money I “lent” them, I wouldn’t need a loan. My parents tell me that I am irresponsible and I need to learn about saving. My brother Benny always has money, but he won’t give me any. He is real cheap, but has no fun.
I have two quick observations for you. One, is do NOT lend money, because you don’t know HOW to lend money, and you don’t HAVE any money to lend. Lending money always causes problems, especially when your “friends” see you as an easy touch. You need to set up an “arrangment” when you loan money, and you haven’t learned how, and I will NOT show you how. You don’t have the money, so don’t lend it anymore. Don’t borrow it either, because you are irresponsible and will not pay it back. The second observation is that Benny is not so much “cheap,” but rather smart. You didn’t tell me how Benny manages to save (or how old he is,) but that he does in fact save. My son Sam (12) will put away 40% of his allowance immediately. He then portions the rest as is necessary the rest of the week. The top 40% is hermetically sealed and cannot be accessed. He is steadfast on this “financial plan.” He never loans money, and has even invested in a savings account to earn interest. He is one smart cookie. He did loan money once to a “friend” and when asked for it, his EX friend told him that “you have more than me, so I don’t have to pay you back.” That was the last time he ever made a loan. You too can learn from Sam by setting up a goal every week, and respecting your financial plan. You will learn that you cannot buy everything you want, and learn to prioritize what is necessary and what is frivolous spending. Its all about priorities and balance. That is one of the best lessons you will learn. What you NEED and what you WANT!! Think about it.. Thanks.
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