By Robert Vandenbergh
Money doesn’t grow on trees. That’s what my father used to tell me.
It’s sound advice that I passed on to my son. When he was just 12 years old, we talked about needs and wants in the context of the bicycle that he needed and the one he wanted. A paper route helped him earn the incremental cost between the two; as my dad often pointed out, the things you work hard for are always more valued. It’s no wonder that the bike he wanted found a home in the garage and was kept meticulously clean.
My son is now a Dad with two kids of his own and is a successful business owner. He still consults his part-time financial expert (me), but is set up with a financial advisor for longer term planning and a systematic process of retirement savings. He shares his own life lessons with his children, including recycling some of my—and my father’s—money management advice. In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to share some financial advice that members of our Lakeland Bank executive management team have bestowed on their own children.
: “With younger children, continue to differentiate between needs and wants.” (Thomas J. Shara, Chief Executive Officer)
: “Always save a portion of the money you earn or receive as gifts. Put it into a savings account when you’re young, or a 401(k) or money market account when you’re an adult.” (Jeffrey Buonforte, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM
: “Develop a long-term savings program for future needs such as a car and college tuition, and include your child in the process to enhance their understanding of the benefits of a savings plan.” (Thomas J. Shara, Chief Executive Officer)
: “Don’t buy more than you can afford and stay away from unnecessary debt…basically, live within your means. A car is a form of transportation and you don’t need to spend extravagantly on it if you can’t afford it.” (Ron Schwarz, Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer)
: “Invest a portion of your savings in the stock market and take advantage of dollar cost averaging.” (Jeffrey Buonforte, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM
: “Credit card debt is like quicksand. Once you get in, it’s difficult to get back out.” (Ron Schwarz, Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer)
And, my top tip:
“If you want it, you need to earn it yourself. The harder you work for what you want, the more you will value it.”
I hope you enjoyed our tips! I want to close with a quote that my father shared with me, and one that I frequently repeat to family and friends… “Success is attained by those who know they can succeed, for success is just failure turned inside out!”
If you are looking for more information on money management for your children, read our blog on teaching children financial responsibility at every age
, visit the Teach Children to Save
program website, or stop in at your local Lakeland Bank branch to talk with us. We also have a Young Savers account for your son or daughter and we match the first deposit up to $10.
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