One of my favorite parts of any game, whether it’s a board game or video game, is the ability to make a mistake, learn from it, and then use your new strategy the next time around. Life doesn’t work the same way, and we often hear, “If I could just go back and talk to my 20-year-old self, I would tell them….’insert profound life wisdom here’. Life doesn’t offer do-overs, but your wisdom can help the next generation learn from your life experience.
When the Great Recession started in 2008 my parents were thrown into one of these wisdom-gaining life experiences. My dad was laid off from his job, and their entire financial picture was turned upside down. I remember this as a very tense and emotional time. With five kids living at home, my parents had a lot on their plate. Over the next few years they would need to overhaul the entire system for how they approached their finances. It took persistence and education to bring our family back into a position of financial security. Throughout this process they did one very important thing…. they included their kids. Not in all the details, but in the bigger picture financial lessons. This was my first exposure to things such as:
- Needs vs. wants
- Delayed gratification
- Having an emergency fund
- Borrowing vs. paying cash
My parents chose to use a financial setback as a building block for their kids, and for that I am forever grateful. I view the Great Recession as a point of origin for me. Through that experience I discovered a passion for personal finance. This passion guided me to a career in financial planning and ultimately to Compass Financial.
The last few years may have been a learning experience for your family or one in a long list of experiences. Regardless, I encourage you to pass along your wisdom to the next generation. You have played this “game” of life before and have intentionally (or unintentionally) learned a thing or two along the way. Let your wisdom influence the 20-something in your life so that they can start their journey on a firm foundation.
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