Getting rich is still the American dream, especially if you’re not rich.
So here’s some free financial advice. Having money requires a decision that you can do it and everyone in your family has to follow the plan! Some people can get rich doing what the rich do… A financial planner would usually offer these tips:
- increase income
- consistent disciplined savings
- invest 20% of income
- stick to your budget
- 12 months expenses in an emergency account
Good formula, but everyone does not fit neatly into that plan. Take the case of 16 year-old Gabrielle Douglas. Her road to riches was different than normal and was dependent on the actions of her parents. Her background was:
- single parent home
- bankruptcy filing
- move across the country to trainer
- intense discipline and focus on competition
That’s a lot of pressure for a child, even without the Olympics hanging over your head. That’s also a lot of pressure on mom and the family. Could you bet the farm on your kid like that? Is there a limit to what lengths a parent should go to support a child’s dream? Are parents normally pressured out of their financial comfort zone for their children, for example when choosing between funding retirement and paying for college? (Or in Gaby’s case, the Olympics?)
My opinion is that money is a family matter – one that it doesn’t come with instructions. It always helps hearing about other families and how they handle these questions. Please leave your comments. You never know who you can help with a simple tip.
Now that Gaby’s brought home the gold medals, her path is paved with gold, The multi-million dollar endorsement deals are rolling in… Gaby personifies the American dream of striking it rich.
Money is new to the teen, how will she handle it? Doesn’t every teen kind of freak out when they start making their own money? Do young people need to be taught money management, even “rich” kids like Gaby?
In several interviews, Gaby has said that her mom, Natalie Hawkins and her agent will figure out the money. I can appreciate that Gaby just wants to get back to her new normal life and that money is not a concern. In several interviews she said that she didn’t do it for the money. I can’t help but appreciate the purity of her soul in that statement.
Yet, I do hope that in the future Gaby will express an interest in money. As a parent, I want for her what any parent wants for their child…. to be financially confident and savvy, now that she has access to money. She can go from being rich to building wealth for generations to come.
Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money “Can I Have Some Money?”. Educating Children About Money, Max Gets It!, Nacho Money and other titles. She is the Dean of Young and Rising Moguls at World of Money and a Brooklyn mother of two, on Facebook and Twitter (Candi Sparks, author).