The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you.
I thought long and hard about writing on financial empowerment when Jason Vitug asked me to participate in the blog tour for The Road to Financial Wellness. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired about the topic because the more I thought about financial empowerment the more I realized that I didn’t know what that meant for teens!
The Road to Financial Wellness
Jason Vitug is the founder of Phroogal and The Road to Financial Wellness which is 50 pit stops across the country during the summer to educate millennials on how to manage their money and live their dream lifestyle in this lifetime.
He is on a unique mission to help millennials reach their dreams in life by making sound financial decisions to get them there.
It was a huge honor to be the Jacksonville ambassador for the road trip last year and I’m thrilled that Jason invited me to partner with him and 121 Financial again this year!
Empowerment As a Teen
But – back to empowerment. That’s a tricky subject when you are a teenager. Chances are that you don’t feel particularly empowered. It’s likely that someone tells you what clothes you can wear, where you have to go to school, when you can go out, who you can be friends with and what time you have to be home at night. Don’t even start to think about the financial decisions that aren’t yours to make.
Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. Teens left completely to raise themselves. I teach classes in my local community and I meet teens every week who have no one telling them anything. No support, no encouragement, few opportunities in any area and no clue on even what to ask when it comes to financial matters.
So how’s a teen to empower themselves? Where do we start? What does it even mean?
The Definition of Financial Empowerment
I did a little reading and it seems that financial empowerment means something different depending on who you speak with. So I’m going to have to go with what Jason says about it. Being financially empowered means that you have the financial knowledge to reach your dream lifestyle, and this is something that is achievable for most every teen.
This can mean something very different for every teen out there. For me financial empowerment has a lot to do with my envelope system and putting aside money for things that are important to me.
Have you ever realized at the last minute that one of your friends had a birthday and you had forgotten about it and didn’t have a gift? Me too! One example of financial empowerment from my life is having a gift envelope. I only put a few dollars in it every week but it gives me such a feeling of freedom.
If I realize I need to purchase a gift I don’t have to panic because I know there is money in my gift envelope. It isn’t like I purchase anything extravagant but I can get something!
Something along those lines just happened the other day. My mom reminded me that it was time for me to pay my share of the car insurance. I immediately tensed up but then I went to my budgeting app and checked my virtual envelope. Sure enough, I had plenty of money and was able to make the payment right then. I didn’t have anything to worry about because I’d been putting aside money for the insurance payment for the last six months!
That might not matter as much to someone else. Maybe financial empowerment for you means that you research and study about the stock market and purchase your first stock to get started on investing. Maybe someone else is financially empowered because they are working hard to get college scholarships so they can avoid student loan debt.
Whatever it means to you as a teen I encourage you to claim it. Wouldn’t it be nice if schools taught all of this? Well, most of them don’t, so get after it yourself! Ask your parents questions. If they don’t want to talk about it then find a trusted mentor and get some help in that way. You can find a way to search out the info you need to set yourself up financially to be able to reach your dreams.
You can do it this, it’s your life and you can’t expect anyone else to do it for you! One way to become more financially empowered is to attend a great event like The Road to Financial Wellness right here in Jacksonville on June 23rd. It’s being held at the MOSH Planetarium from 6pm – 8:30pm. The tickets are completely free and you can REGISTER HERE.
I hope to see you there!