Author Topic: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?  (Read 4246 times)

kaeldra

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Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« on: December 19, 2012, 01:19:12 PM »
My husband's brothers are a good bit older and both had kids young, so I have two teenage nieces despite being only 27 myself. Both families don't seem to have a lot of money, so the kids are hopefully already picking up frugality. But I'd love to help guide them towards mustachianism or at least good money practices like saving and budgeting.

I was thinking I'd give the 18 year old Your Money or Your Life for her HS graduation, as well as The Art of Non-Conformity http://chrisguillebeau.com/the-book/. She's not going to college, just planning to get a retail job I think. Think a book would be useful for that age, or will she never read it? I could offer to meet with her, but I doubt she'd be interested...

Young mustachians, what pushed you this way, and what advice in what format helped you most?

I'm not sure what to do about the 15 year old. She is making sounds like she wants to move out on her own, but I'm pretty sure she's clueless about money.

Also, since I'm only 27, I don't want to offend their parents by coming off as a know-it-all - any thoughts from parents about where the good line is between being a good, helpful aunt and intruding on parental guidance when it comes to learning about money? I feel like I've got useful info to share, but I don't want to step on any toes, which is why I was leaning towards just giving a book.

Thanks!

swick

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 01:49:42 PM »
That is a tough one because while I read voraciously as a youth, the real big impact came from personal examples my parents and people around me made. The best thing you can do is lead by example and casually slip bits of wisdom in. You have an advantage here too because you are "younger" in there eyes then say their parents. The example I always use in my classes is the example of "How many hours would I have to work to buy x" This is especially important for the older one who is going into retail...makes you see that how much an hour you actually earn makes a difference too, which might encourage her to go to school or seek out other training opportunities.

if she happens to be a history buff or a bit of a geek - I adapted PT Barnum's "The Art of Money Getting" into an e-book for the Modern Teen. I'd be happy to send you a copy if you message me your email. Won't appeal to all teens - but worth a shot. Good Luck!

James

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 01:58:36 PM »
I would absolutely ask the 18 year old if there is interest in your thoughts on frugality and finances.  Who knows if they will accept your thoughts, but I think that is the best way of getting it across.  After giving them some thoughts along the line of "here is what I wish I had done/known and this is how it would have made a difference in my life", maybe give them a book and/or the MMM blog.  I know I would have greatly appreciated that at 18, but no one offered it.  Even the 15 year old might have some honest questions for someone outside of her immediate family who is willing to answer questions about how things can work out "on your own".

I think the key to avoid stepping on toes is to keep it focused on you, your choices, and how it could have changed your decisions if you had known them at their age, not focused on any specific advice for them.  Let them make that connection if they want to, or ask if they want you to.

Blackbomber

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 02:38:58 PM »
Some people live simple for it's own sake. I'm starting to appreciate a simple life myself. But others (perhaps most of us) are choosing to live simple because of the impact it can have in other areas of our lives, such as to build for an early retirement so as to enjoy life on our terms, rather than live in the moment as slaves with lots of nice trinkets. Anyway, trying to impress these facts on someone who hasn't had life experience could be challenging. But kids are pretty smart. If you are on track for an early retirement, I would share that goal, and how you are working towards it. Teach them the value of compound interest, and how, over time, you will have more money, while if you'd spent it on a trinket, it would be gone, and the trinket forgotten. They may not respond to that, but keeping it on yourself, as James says, seems to be the best approach, in my eyes. Once you turn someone off, it's pretty tough to undo that. Once they understand the value of a dollar, you can give an example of a financial goal they can consider. Now retirement is too far off for them to probably care about (at least with societies definition). But getting started in life isn't. So I'd run the numbers to show how skipping little needless expenditures can lead to the down payment for a home. Or even a car, which is probably more appealing at this point.

kaeldra

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 08:28:01 PM »
Thanks everyone! Good thoughts on keeping it focused on my own path, and what I wish I'd known at their age. And James, good point about asking if she's even interested in learning about it - she may not be now, but maybe after six months working retail...

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 11:13:37 PM »
she may not be now, but maybe after six months working retail...

Hah, that's what I was going to say after the first post.  If you ever go to BraveNewLife's blog, you'll find his This Is Water post, which touches on the drudgery of work.  I don't think people can appreciate financial independance unless they've experienced working for a while.

EngGirl

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 06:38:05 AM »
I think I was born frugal, but what really pushed me over the edge were all the bad examples out there: my parents are terrible with money, I watched in horror as my university friends spent student loan money getting drunk at bars, and I cringed as I saw my brother max out his government student loans AND a 40k loan from the bank for an arts degree. It was so easy to be "good with money" in comparison to them, that I started to see myself as "good with money". Then my competitive nature kicked in, and before I realized it I became a full fledged mustachian!

Maybe you could start a conversation by pointing out how bad a neutral third party is with money, and compliment them for not being that way. Whenever you see even borderline frugal behaviour, compliment them on it and tell them how good they are with their money.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 09:37:07 AM »
I think giving the books is a great idea, especially is you say or write something like, "I count these among the mot important books in my life. I hope you find them useful, too!" If they don't mean anything when first received, they might in a few months or a few years. Just her having them around to access when she's ready would be great.

sheepstache

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Re: Guide teenage nieces to mustachianism?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 09:08:24 PM »
I love this idea!  One thing that stands out to me is that phrasing it as a message of regret, what you wish you'd known, wouldn't have been as effective for me, personally.  Because young people are told all the time about how important the decisions they're making in that time of life are, which is true, but creates a lot of pressure and stress.  Plus you sound like you want to speak to her as a contemporary.  She gets guidance counselors and keynote speakers giving her advice every day of the week at this age but, like most people, she's more interested in what her friends are doing.  And you can be more like a friend.  Plus there's the potential that if she doesn't embrace the ideas fully right now she'll feel in the future that that way is closed to her because she didn't taken advantage of it in the peak years, when really even if she doesn't catch on to what you tell her for another ten or even twenty years, she'll still be better off than most people!

One other thing that would have helped me a lot is being given very specific information.  Like, not just,'here's how a mutual fund works' but, 'look: let me pull up vanguard's website and here's where you would click to create an account and here's how you can search for the types of funds you want and here in my account is where I click to set up automatic payments, etc.'  Maybe I'm just particularly spacey and a girl who's entrusted to fold sweaters would figure out details more easily (not being snarky here--I really doubt anyone would have hired me for retail at her age).