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If I Could Only Teach Two Financial Lessons

If I Could Only Teach Two Financial Lessons

May 07, 2024

How many times have you heard your kid complain about their least favorite subject in school and ask, “When will I ever use this in life?” While we may not use some of the information we learned in school, financial literacy is a critical life skill that will always be useful. Unfortunately, this subject isn’t taught in many schools, which means it’s up to parents to teach their kids about money. There are so many important and helpful financial lessons you could teach, so how do you know where to start? After over 30 years of working in the financial industry, I would recommend starting with these two essential financial lessons to give your kids a solid financial foundation in life. 

Live Within Your Means

There are many things in life we want but don’t necessarily need. It’s essential to distinguish between the two and live within your means. Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you should buy it. Being frugal and living a simple life can lead to greater happiness and satisfaction.

One of the main reasons why people struggle financially is because they live beyond their means. They spend money on things they can’t afford and end up in debt, which can be very difficult to get out of and cause stress in your life

Living with more debt than you can afford not only causes short-term anxiety over how to pay it off, but it can also cause long-term damage to your finances by preventing you from saving or investing toward other goals.

You can’t experience true financial confidence if your spending is always causing you to live paycheck to paycheck. Because of this, I believe that living within your means is one of the most important financial lessons people can learn. 

Use Your Money With Intention

What many people don’t realize is that intentionality is a key component of financial success. It’s important to have the money you need to be financially independent so when opportunities arise, you’ll be able to use your money well. When you get to a point where you can pick and choose what you spend your money on, and which opportunities you invest in, you can realize true financial independence. 

It doesn’t happen overnight, though. 

It starts by building an adequate emergency fund so you have a cushion in case unforeseen expenses pop up. This is the first step in intentional wealth. 

Once you have a solid financial foundation, you can expand your thinking about how to use your money with intention by identifying what you truly want from your wealth. Whether you want to travel, invest in your future, or help others, there are endless possibilities for what you can do with your money. The key is to be mindful and purposeful with your spending. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these ideas: 

  • Create a budget: A budget helps you determine where your money is going and where you can cut back so you have funds available for other things. 
  • Invest in yourself: Whether taking a class or investing in a business, put some of your money toward your future. 
  • Give back: Consider donating to a cause you care about or volunteering your time. There are many ways to give back without spending any money at all. 

No matter what you decide to do, remember that you have the power to choose how to use your money. By being intentional with what you want to achieve, and the steps you are willing to take to get there, you become more likely to follow through with and meet your financial goals.

Spend your money with intention and you’re on your way to financial freedom.

How I Can Help

There are many more financial lessons you could pass on to your children, but these two are a good place to start to help them build a solid financial foundation. Of course, another great way to teach is to lead by example. If you feel like your financial plan is not where you want it to be and you want to build a plan that can give you the confidence to live within your means and spend your money intentionally, I am here to help. My mission is to provide trusted advice and exceptional personal service to those I serve. I am passionate about what I do and always strive to put my clients’ interest ahead of my own.

If you want to explore how my services can help you or your family, email me at or call 916-967-3208. Let’s see how we can pursue your ideal financial future together. 

About Jim

James Callens is a financial advisor at GLH&C Financial Services, a full-service, comprehensive wealth management firm. Jim has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry and uses his extensive resources and knowledge to help his clients experience simplicity and clarity in their financial lives. Jim spent more than 20 years working for GE Financial Advisors, both in its insurance services department and as a regional manager and financial advisor. He took part in GE’s Six Sigma Quality Training program and completed the National Association of Life Underwriter’s four-year LUTCF course. Jim also earned his certificate in financial planning from the University of California at Davis. In 2011, Jim combined his own firm, Callens Financial Group, with GLH Financial Services, creating GLH&C Financial Services, so he could provide even more value to his clients. 

Jim lives in Folsom, California, with his wife, Melissa, and his four children, Jacob, Kristen, Grant, and Andrew. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, bicycling, and vacationing at Lake Tahoe. To learn more about Jim, connect with him on LinkedIn.