I remember when I was 14! I know it seems pretty young and it is, however I remember being able to make decisions about my money and that, I believe, is a turning point in everyone’s life – when you can begin to make decisions that will create your future.
In my case, I had worked in prior summers either picking blueberries or planting trees but the money I earned was not that much and I don’t really remember that much about it. I do recall that I bought a bicycle with blueberry money.
But the summer I was 14 was different. With my best friend, I approached the village to see if they would hire us on a local construction project at $2.25 per hour. It was labour work and we worked for 4 weeks to make $360 and thought we were rich!
As I mentioned, I was able to make decisions about that money and I remember deciding to spend $300 plus 8% tax for a total of $324 of the $360 on a minibike. On the surface it does not seem like a great decision but for a 14 year old it seemed perfect with $36 left for gas for the rest of the summer!
My parents were likely thinking it a bit foolish but what struck me then and still does is that I could decide – it really was up to me!
That the financial decisions in your life are up to you, beginning quite early in life, is the point of this post. In my case, the fact that I had a minibike at the age of 14 and no money left was no one’s decision but mine, and the consequences of those decisions are no one’s fault but my own.
I have often thought about having more wealth in my life, financially, and when I think that it might be someone else’s fault that I have less than I have, I always think back to that decision at 14 and realize that I made all financial decisions since then!
So let’s go back to that decision at 14 and using hindsight consider what could have happened to that $360 if I had treated it differently. Let us look at that money as possible savings and what it would have turned into at 50!
If I look at what would happen to my $360 if I had invested it at 14 generating a return of 2% per month, I would have $1,832,215 at the age of 50 without having to invest another cent in the 36 years. Even investing $200 of the $360 would have given me over $1 million at the age of 50.
So just so sum up the point I am making with this post; the fact that I had a minibike at 14, a decision that I made, is the reason that I do not have the $1,832,215 now. As hard as it may seem to realize that, it is the reality and it is very powerful to know that.
All financial decisions are yours – make them wisely starting as early as 14!!