What I Strive to Teach My Son About Wealth
Have you ever had that “Why didn’t someone teach me this” feeling? I think it’s a common experience many people have at one point or another, especially when it comes to finances. Thankfully, I had many strong lessons about money growing up which helped me develop a comfortable relationship with wealth early on. One of the most important lessons I learned was taught by my grandfather. He always told me to “Give some, save some, and spend some”; by doing this, you are benefiting in three different areas of your life and experiencing joy in them all.
After more than two decades in the financial services industry, I’ve heard many clients express things they wish they had known about money when they were younger. I take my grandfather’s message not only into every client meeting, but it’s also something I strive to teach my son, Price.
When my dad was younger, his father paid him to mow the lawn. He was paid $10 and my grandfather would intentionally pay him in $1 bills so he could illustrate this lesson to him. The first component is giving. In our house we give our tithe to God first, which is 10% (or $1 dollar out of the $10 my dad earned for mowing the lawn).
Giving is important because it puts life in perspective and allows you to appreciate your hard-earned money even more. There will always be someone out there with less than you, but at the end of the day, we are all people who deserve the basic kindness, love, and humility God intends for us.
We incorporate this concept into other areas of our lives, not just waiting until payday to give back to those around us. Every Christmas we get out the Samaritan’s Purse catalog and come up with an amount to give for Christmas as a family, as our gift to Jesus. Price chooses two gifts for himself, then picks out gifts of equal value for children and families around the world who have very little. This is a fun tradition that instills giving and generosity.
For my parents’ birthdays, we give them a giving certificate redeemable to their favorite charity of choice, and we make a donation out of our donor-advised fund called “The Rosamond Family Giving Fund.” I strive to teach my son money can be used for more than just your own wants and needs. It can be used to uplift those around you and inspire generosity in the world.
The next part of my grandfather’s lesson is to save some of the money you earn. This is another 10%. Some people like to say, “Pay yourself first,” meaning make sure your future self is taken care of through adequate savings before you spend your money on non-necessities now.
Consistent saving will allow your money to grow exponentially over time. A single penny that doubles every day for a month may not seem like much on the surface, especially when compared to $1 million up front. But by the time the 30th day rolls around, you will have over $5 million in pennies. This is a simple example of how your wealth can grow over time through patience and consistency. I believe it is an important financial lesson to pass on to my son.
Money is a tool. We are merely stewards of what God has entrusted us with for the short time we are here on earth. If my son learns to be generous, save and invest, and be a good steward of all God has entrusted to him, he will be wise with money and his choices.
The rest of the money my dad earned for mowing the lawn was his to keep, 80% or $8. He was free to do whatever he chose with the money. Of course, he did not have to share any of it with the IRS due to his age and low annual earnings. When you grow up, however, you have to share a portion with the IRS too.
When Price was younger and received money for special events or started earning money of his own, we helped him learn the “Give some, save some, spend some” method. As a result, he has a well-rounded relationship with money. He is very generous to others and good at delaying purchases and saving for things. Because he knows he can give to others and give to himself too, he is okay with spending some money now on things he would like.
I believe this approach to wealth management has helped my family achieve financial success without falling into the trap of oppressive debt or living paycheck to paycheck. Thanks to the lessons instilled in me by my father and grandfather, I strive to take care of all I have been given by God, and it’s my goal to pass this knowledge on to both my clients and my family.
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Preston Rosamond is a financial advisor and the founder of The Rosamond Financial Group Wealth Management, LLC with over two decades of industry experience. He provides comprehensive wealth management and financial services to successful business owners, corporate executives, and affluent retirees who enjoy simplicity and seek a professional to help them pursue their goals. Preston personally serves his clients with an individual touch, a sincere heart, and his servant’s attitude is evident from the moment you meet him. Learn more about Preston or start the conversation about your finances with him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call on his online calendar.