Financial Advice From 29 Personal Finance Bloggers: A Memo To The Next Generation
In my earlier years I made my fair share of stupid money mistakes. Eventually, I got on the right path after I found some content and resources that saved my financial life. I wish I’d received financial advice rooted in helping me take control of my money and life during my teenage years to be better prepared entering adulthood.
Based on the stats around money management and financial health…
Clearly, I’m not the only one.
The current state of the “average” individual’s financial standing is alarming:
- Out of every 10 Americans, 6 don’t have $500 in savings.
- Less than 30% of Americans prepare a long-term financial plan outlining savings and retirement goals.
- 49% of Americans are concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being.
- The average American household has approx. $8,161 in revolving debt.
- The total amount of student loan debt owing in the United States comes in at over $1.52 trillion.
Hopefully you yourself have started to manage your money like a grown-up but you probably know people on both sides of the financial fence.
What would many (or most) say the number one problem is? Financial literacy would have to be up there.
We can’t perfectly predict what the future holds in terms of the economy and job landscape. However, hopefully we can inspire financial literacy for the next generation of adults.
The Question Posed To Our Personal Finance Bloggers
To support this cause I enlisted to help of the personal finance community. I reached out to the smart, hard-working and talented network of content creators from the Rockstar Finance Forums.
I asked 29 different personal finance bloggers the same question.
If you could send a memo to the next generation (ages 14 – 18) about taking control of their money and life. What would it say if that memo could only be 3 sentences long?
3 sentences on money to inspire those coming up in this world.
Here’s what they each had to say on helping the next generation of adults set themselves up for an engaging, meaningful and successful life throughout their financial journey.
To You, The Next Generation…
Take Smart Risks & Explore
The best time to take smart calculated risks is when you’re young and don’t have a lot to lose (like a job, family, house, or other critical dependencies). This means you should try new things, whether it’s for fun or for work, so you really get to learn about yourself, what truly makes you happy, and all that the world has to offer. When you look back into your early years, it should be full of memories you can draw upon for inspiration, energy, and stories.
Jim Wang at Wallet Hacks
Willing & Informed Choices, Be Yourself
Make whatever happens in your lives a result of your willing and informed choice, not a byproduct of a lifetime of normalcy; of mediocrity; of nonsense and bullshit. Reject the notion that your jobs define you. Be comfortable and confident in yourself, but understand your weaknesses and be willing to change.
Steve at Think Save Retire
The Power Of Compound Interest
Compound interest is way more powerful than your human brain’s ability to comprehend it. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but by starting investing in my teens, I’ve reached my mid-to-late 20s with a quarter-million dollars. And that quarter-million will soon compound into multi-millions!
The Money Wizard at My Money Wizard
Start Now & Build Habits
Life has very little to do with genius or grades but rather the knowledge to take responsibility for your money saving and investing habits. If you want to get ahead in life then you should start saving all your money NOW. I bet you in 5 years whatever is on top of your current Christmas list will not matter then.
Lily at The Frugal Gene
Experiences & People
Value people and experiences over things. Always seek to serve others. Never stop learning.
Manage Spending & Develop Skills
Create and follow a budget so you can make sure you’re always spending less than you earn. Start developing skills that are hard for employers to find and provide real value to others. Just because you have money in your pocket – and perhaps can *technically* afford that new car, phone, etc. – doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
Aaron at Personal Finance For Beginners
Compound & Track
Financial success is difficult, but not at all complicated. The steps to financial success involve two things: understanding having more money in the future is better than having some money today (compound interest), and learning how to track your finances. Put these two mindsets and actions into practice and you’ll be on your way.
Erik at The Mastermind Within
Stay True, Enjoy & Commit
Identify what you value in life and stay true to those values. Have incredible fun with your life, but not too much. Get your work done.
Mike at MikedUp Blog
Embrace & Enjoy The Change
Be open to the opportunities that come, the challenges and the learning. And allow for change in your life, because things will change a lot, even your passions and dreams may change and that is perfectly ok. You don’t need to know your path today, just prepare for the twists and turns that you will encounter along the way.
Mrs. Adventure Rich at Adventure Rich
Overflow The Pool
You are the CEO of your life – money is the tool you wield for making the decisions that transform your dreams into reality. With that being said, your money can be thought of like those summer days at the pool – each new dollar earned that flows into your bank account fills the pool, while each dollar you spend empties it. Your goal is to overflow the pool by adding more water than you let out!
Chris at Duke Of Dollars
Complete Control Of Your Life & Dreams, Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks
You are in complete control of your happiness in life! Learn how to live off less and still maintain a lifestyle that fulfills your dreams. Don’t be afraid to take risks, try different jobs, start your own business when you’re young. #OneLife
Kelan & Brittany at The Savvy Couple
Start Small, Learn & Target Future Success
Start investing with every small piece of savings and income you create and don’t be afraid to create something from scratch as it is okay if you fail. Second, use your knowledge of technology to learn something new everyday that will help you discover who you are and what you love to do. Finally, work as hard as possible to find affordable, beneficial education that will position you for best future success.
Pay Yourself First & Experience Life
Your most valuable commodity is time. Use it to set up a solid future monetarily by always paying yourself first. But, more importantly, also use it to experience life with family and friends.
Ryan at FinanciaLion
Understand Debt, Interest & Repayment
When it comes to loans for college or cars, you have to understand the terms of the loan. It’s easy to throw around numbers like $10K or $40K, but what will it take to pay that loan back each month? Be your own best friend by learning and understanding what interest rates mean and how amortization schedules work.
Amy & Vicki at Women Who Money
Balance & Flexibility
Life is all about balance and you’ll learn that soon enough, better now than later. Follow your passions but be realistic as they may turn out to be a hobby rather than a career. Money can buy anything but most important is flexibility and saving early is worth more than saving too late so spend money now but don’t forget to save for later when you want the flexibility to pursue those passions and your career is wearing you down.
Jay at Time In The Market
College Isn’t The Only Solution
Watch Pinocchio to understand how college is currently structured. You see the boys go to Pleasure Island and have fun for awhile, but all that fun has to be paid back when they turn into donkeys. Research ways to make a living without college (in demand trades) or to go to college without debt (scholarships, two year community college, etc.).
Don’t Settle, Push & Pursue
You should never be satisfied with being average… in anything. Believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and aim to be the best you know you can be. Maintain a positive outlook on life and be thankful for everyday blessings.
Enoch at Savvy New Canadians
Look Fear & Failure In The Eyes
The most successful people are ones who aren’t afraid to take action. Don’t be afraid of failure. Stare fear right in the eyes and follow your heart.
Read, Learn & Manage Money
Stop spending so much time watching TV and playing video games. Pick up a book and learn a skill that can make you money. Then invest that money and keep pouring money into your account and stay away from credit cards. Do that and you’ll be in a really good spot while all your friends are drowning in debt.
Mike Collins at Budget Kitty
At your age you should focus on networking. But it seems like many people don’t have a clue what that even means. You need connections everywhere, trust me, you can have the most in-demand service in the world, but it is worthless if you don’t have the network to sell it to. And of course, don’t get fat and don’t start smoking.
Peter Koch at Seller At Heart
Heart Outweighs A Wallet
Don’t think less of yourself, or your family, if your friends have more money than you do. Be proud of who you are and who you can become. Because what’s most important is what lives in someone’s heart, not their wallet.
Diana at Mastering The Side Jam
Learn The Superpower Of Time & Money
Knowing the true value in time of everything you spend money on is a superpower. Whether it’s a small cup of coffee or full college tuition, the ability to look at a purchase and calculate how long that expense will take to work off will lead to informed decisions. The sooner you learn this superpower, the more you’ll be able to reap the rewards from it!
Adam at Minafi
Save, Invest & Compound
Save 10% of every dollar you earn. Open an account with Vanguard in the total stock market. Watch your money grow with the magic of compound interest.
Mark at The Retirement Spot
Never Stop Learning & Growing
Always continually improve yourself because todays skills and jobs will not be the ones around when you retire. In addition spend below your means based on what you truly value.
Be Wary Of Debt
Be careful to never sacrifice your future on the altar of today. In other words, debt is dumb, and saving is smart. Because if you tie up all or most of your income in debt repayments, you’ll be left with nothing to save and nothing for future you.
Chris at The Cash Dad
Keep Your Income Above Expenses, Always
Spend less than you make (i.e. learn to keep a proper budget); it doesn’t get more complicated than that. As long as you keep your income over your expenses, you will NEVER go into debt, and your money will grow every single month. Then, you can invest that excess cash into retirement accounts (Roth IRA, 401k) to become a millionaire by age 65!
Evan at Budgeting Couple
Live Your Dream Life
Dear young people, would you rather work until you are 70 or live a life where you can choose how to fill your time doing the things you love? By making smart choices with money today, you can live your dream life later. Your friends are only impressed by your material purchases for one second (if at all), but your lifestyle will be impressive forever.
Nick at Your Money Blueprint
Warren Buffett Started At 11
If I sent a memo to the next generation of “adults”, I would tell them to think about a company they admire – it could be Google, Apple, Nintendo, Chipotle, whatever company they think highly of. I would tell them one of the wealthiest people in the world, Warren Buffett, bought his first stock at the age of 11 and that if they bought their first stock right now, they would be years ahead of their peers when it comes to understanding how investing works.
Robbie at Stock Street
Plan For The Future & Don’t Inflate Your Lifestyle
You are not invincible and you therefore need to plan for your future now! If you don’t you will regret it; but you won’t be able to turn back time. When you get your first full-time job, figure out what income you can live on and then stick to it. When you get pay rises, don’t use that money; instead, organise for your pay rises to be automatically transferred to an account you can’t touch easily and save it for your future!
3 Financial Steps To Follow
1. Pay yourself first. 2. Don’t spend beyond your means. 3. Learn a skill and be the best you can be at it.
Mobile Home Gurl at Adventures In Mobile Homes
Learn, Live, Hope & Question
Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Scott at Making Momentum via Albert Einstein
In Closing…Financial Advice For The Next Generation
The collection of wise words with actionable advice and real-world relevance from these bloggers could truly shift the financial trajectory of the next generation.
Each in their own way they’re trying to help with the financial illiteracy problem that has plagued so many. The goal should be that the next generation avoids the pitfalls those who came before them were tripped up by.
How can we better connect with these soon-to-be-adults?
What methods can we use to help them be better prepared to take control of their money and life?
Please share this post if you feel the financial advice from our personal finance bloggers can help with the financial literacy movement.
Here are some other posts to help you take control of your money and life:
- The Personal Finance Resources And Content That Saved My Life
- 15 Smart Money Moves You Can (Easily) Make This Month
- Best Personal Finance Podcasts – 30+ Money, Investing And Side Hustle Shows
- Building Good Money Habits – Make Your Own Money Momentum
- 25 Books On Personal And Professional Development