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You all know I love to tell about my experiences in life but I also love helping people. I wrote these pieces of advice that I would give to young people for a guest post I did a couple years ago and thought it would be good to bring it around again and hope that you will use it either for yourself, your child or a good friend or sibling.
- Budget your money. One of the greatest things I ever learned was how to make a budget. Sit down and figure out exactly what you spend each month. Then divide that by how often you get paid. If you get paid weekly, divide that by 4. If you get paid every two weeks, divide it by two. Figure in your rent, food, utilities, gasoline, anything that you pay regularly. Then add in extra for miscellaneous because there will always be some kind of emergency. Put this amount aside every payday and when your bill comes due, you have the money. It's so simple of a concept and yet hardly anyone follows it.
- Learn how to handle your finances. I worked in banking for over 20 years and was continuously trying to help people figure out their finances and to balance a checkbook. If you don't know how to do it, go to your bank and ask for help if you have a problem with bouncing checks or ATM fees and overdrafts. You will be one step ahead if you can understand what to do with your own money. I couldn't believe the number of college kids graduating with high honors who had no idea how to balance a checkbook. This should be taught in high school as a mandatory course.
- Save money regularly. Before you pay any bill, pay yourself first. Even if it's $20 a paycheck, it's something. The more money you make in your job/career, pay yourself more.
- Do not use credit cards when you don't have the money. The real purpose of credit cards is to build credit for buying a home or a car. Good credit comes from using a credit card when you have the actual money to pay for something and then paying the bill in full when it comes in.
- Don't ever let anyone lay their hands on you in any hurtful way. This one is probably geared more for the females but it could apply to males also. It has to do with dating/marriage. . Too many women are in abusive relationships because they allowed a guy to physically mistreat them. The guy apologizes and gets all lovey dovey and the gal falls right back into the losers arms and a pattern begins. I do know there are also men who are abused as well so listen up. The first time any one lays a hand on you END IT. There is no reason for it. It's unacceptable. And a person like that will do it AGAIN. You don't deserve it and someone better WILL come along. This I promise. You are too good for something like this.
- Use Birth Control. There's no excuse to have an unplanned baby in this day and age. There are clinics, doctors, support groups, counselors, etc. Unless you are married, financially stable and have lived life a little, don't get pregnant. You are not doing yourself or the child any good by not planning this one out. It's a mistake that lasts a lifetime and can cause a hard life for all when it's not necessary. For the girl, no guy is worth trapping with a child. It will only cause them to resent you and resent the child. For the guys, wear protection. You should anyway but wear it for birth control purposes. Don't rely on the girl to take care of it all. There is NO EXCUSE. Free condoms are everywhere. If you're old enough to have sex, you're old enough to make a baby but you are not mature enough to be a parent.
- Take a self defense class. Learn how to protect yourself. Too many crimes are committed where the victim doesn't fight back. Be aware of your surroundings. Learn what to look for and how to prevent a crime. I bet the statistics on rape/murder would be a lot lower if a person knew self-defense. Get some friends together and go as a group. Practice as a group. Be smart.
- Enjoy life before settling down. Get out there and see the world. Travel, learn about different cultures, take up art or a hobby that you think you might enjoy. Once you can be content with your life, you can then make a partner a very happy person. If you are happy, the sky is the limit.
- When you are in a relationship, don't try to control it. The only successful relationship is one that is built on compromise, trust and above all RESPECT. Respect for yourself first and then for the other.
- Pay attention to your children. If you are going to bring one into the world you owe it to that child to listen and learn and teach them what's right and wrong and how to grow up a well rounded individual.
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Until next time........BB