Every parent has concerns about their children’s financial future. Starting at a very early age, we work hard to teach them how to handle money. We are also aware that they watch us, how we spend and use money. As they become older and begin to make their own money, we want them to cultivate good financial habits. All of us hope that our children are able to avoid some of the financial mistakes we made when we were younger.
However, avoiding poverty is not always the result of good money management. Often, other factors cause our children to suffer financially. There are three things that young people can do which will help them avoid poverty. Three simple steps that anyone could achieve that will keep them from the welfare lines.
The first step is to graduate from High School. The majority of people who are poor do not have a High School diploma. This document has tremendous power and influence over a person’s income for their whole life. Without graduating from High School, most opportunities are permanently closed.
The second step is to wait until after age 20 to get married. This is especially true for young women. When teenagers get married, they suddenly find themselves in a struggle from financial survival rather than taking the time to begin laying a good financial foundation. If they will simply wait until age 20, it will pay long-term financial benefits.
The third step is not to have children until after marriage. Unwed parents almost always struggle financially, especially unwed mothers. It is difficult for one parent to provide the financial needs of a child.
Young people who take these three steps – graduating from High School, waiting until age 20 to get married, and getting married before having children -have a 95% likelihood of avoiding poverty. These are not money management principles, yet they assist our children toward financial success. It reminds us that lifestyle and finances are intertwined. The way we choose to live is the biggest contributor to our financial success or failure.
There is great advantage in doing the right thing as well as avoiding the wrong thing. “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).