I love the cliche, "Your future starts now". Of course every minute that passes by is your future. We invest in our future with every breath we take. Sure economic security is going to be paramount as we deal with words like "sequester", "foreclosure" or "downsizing".
We need to get back to when we were not a primarily credit card carrying country. We spend a lot of money on things we do not need. Prolonging the use of an item by several months would help some with their budget. We no longer mend, fix or pass down. We no longer do things ourselves, spend time learning how to fix household problems or maintain like we used to. Of course it is great to have credit cards for emergencies or to be able to pay for repairs when issues come up but this past decade has shown me that we are creating self-destructive behaviors in our children.
Many children that I knew growing up had a savings account that was started in the first grade. Having a savings account and actively having them put a portion of their birthday money, allowance or fun money teaches children how to invest for the future. Why are we teaching children to spend money that they do not have?
The road to recovery has not been an easy one for most families. Realizing that saving for the future is the key will get you further. Most who have grown up with less than others know the term "making a dollar out of fifteen cents". Our parents did that and it is our time to use their prudent practices to know help us get through these turbulent financial times.
People losing their homes and employment should be a loud and clear wake up call. You have the ability to be powerful in this generation. Look towards future opportunities. Seriously consider getting a living will, it will make the lives of those in your family so much easier. Figure out what you would want to happen if you could not make decisions on your own. While it may be difficult, it will be more painful for the legacy of your family if you wait to create a living will. In the document you can dictate exactly what you want so that your loved ones do not have to think for you. I have been seeing to many young people dying with out taking care of the family resources - the children.
This may all be daunting but it will be worth it in the long run. The head of the household should be gathering everyone together for a family meeting to discuss these issues. It is unfortunate when you have to do this under duress, which is usually after someone dies. While a lot of people don't think that it will happen to them it does. Really consider getting life insurance for the family. Your credit union, groups like AAA or service organizations may have options for you.
It is time that we stand up to the fear of death and start living. Be in charge of your family by creating a sense of economic independence. Having a healthy attitude about your family and their future wellness will help you to keep everything in check.
P.S. You can find us on Linkedin, Twitter and facebook. Social media has been very interesting for us. I try to get to know each person and have now made it my business to meet a new facebook friend each month. I hope you have been feeling spectacular.
This was printed in the April 21, 2013 - May 4, 2013 Edition