As with everything in life, things go up and things go down. And then they go up again and down again. You can liken it to a wave which goes up and down, or to a glass of water you set down on a flat surface. If you knock the glass, the water is disturbed but, in time, it will once again level out.

The past two weeks I have been asked about the financial future of this country more than at any time since I started teaching financial literacy. I am NOT a financial advisor in any capacity (nor do I wish to be) but I can say this: some things stay the same and some things change and the more we understand that this ‘situation’ is just a situation and we don’t all go off the deep end, the better off it will be in the long run.

What I mean is, the basic financial principles that govern whether a person ends up financially free have not changed:

  • Pay Yourself First
  • Put Your Money To Work For You
  • Only Borrow Money When It’s Going To Make You Money
  • If You Can’t Afford It In Cash, You Can’t Afford It At All
  • Helping Others is Helping Ourselves

and my all-time favorite…

Your Thoughts, Beliefs and Attitudes Determine Your Wealth Potential

Then what changes?

Well, WHERE and HOW to put your money to work. HOW to borrow and FROM WHOM when it IS going to make money for you and HOW not to let what is currently going on influence your long term financial strategies and the systems that you have in place.

Again, I am no financial expert, but it seems to me that it’s just a hiccup; maybe a big hiccup for some but a hiccup just the same. Just like all of the other financial hiccups that have happened since the beginning of time, and the beginning of the stock market. It’s interesting to note the stock market time line of events since it started back in 1792 when 24 men signed an agreement that launched the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). There have been some pretty major events in its history and yet, over time, it has always gone up. For a little stock market history lesson, click here!

Will some people suffer? Yes.
Will some businesses fail because they made poor business choices? Yes.
Will some people make a lot of money at the expense of others losing a lot? Yes.
Do you have a choice in how you are going to respond to the situation? Yes.
Do you have the opportunity, just like the rest of the people in this country, to take advantage of the situation at hand and make some money? Of course you do.

The question is, WILL you?

So in answer to my simple yet important question “Where do we go from here?”, my advice is as follows:

1) Don’t get too upset about it.
2) Seek professional advice from someone you trust before you make any rash decisions about moving your money.
3) Keep teaching your kids about money and give them every opportunity to practice with it. Don’t know how? Get The Ultimate Allowance.
4) Keep spending less than you make.
5) Keep your eyes open for opportunities.
6) Take care of your health.
7) Watch an inspiring movie or read a great book.
8) Keep a handle on your thoughts because they really do create things.
9) Remember to stay focused on your future. There is a very good reason the front window in your car is bigger than the rear view mirror.

This is the perfect time to make sure your children are getting a clear picture (or as clear a picture as possible) about what is happening. Regardless of how you feel about the situation, the bailout, what will happen to the value of our dollars, etc., this is a great time to talk to your kids about business decisions and how financial decisions can affect an entire country.

Talk to them about how some business decisions may bring you a lot of money in the short term but can turn around and bite you in the tush later on. Talk to them about systems and strategies. Ask them questions instead of giving them your opinions so they will share their own opinions with you. You never know what may come out of their mouths when they are given an opportunity to simply converse instead of defending their positions.

And finally, listen to my mother who always said…

“There, there. This too shall pass.”

Thanks Mom!