The power of peer groups to exert influence, both good and bad, on its members has been well documented.
In one of my earlier posts, I have rated the two most important personal finance lessons I have learnt being:-
a) Paying myself first, or Living within my means and
b) Forming a peer group with personal finance as an agenda item.
I have also posted that (b) would be the most important PF lesson I could give my 2 elder girls now. But, exactly how do they go about forming a peer group? None of their friends in college are interested in this “oh! so boring” subject.
Man! I lost almost 15 years of compounding benefits, bumming around and burning off almost all my earnings. Only after my family and financial responsibilities got heavier, did I consciously start thinking about sorting my finances out.
And as a responsible parent, I have to try my best to make sure that my children do not make the same mistakes I did. So I have to find a way. A way, which will get my children start thinking and working on bettering their financial position from day one. A way, my children will be comfortable with.
I believe that advise from the parent may not work. It has to come from people with whom my children are comfortable with and who have the same likes, dislikes and problems, real or perceived.
I have tried asking them to form their own peer group. This has not worked.
I have now given them a list of 5 personal finance and personal development blogs, and have asked them to read and start commenting on these blogs.
I have proposed a fee for every comment of theirs which is accepted by the blogger. My children have to email me the URLs so that I can keep abreast of their comments.
I have been an avid follower of PF blogs for about 3 months now. The impact on me has been powerful. I have made many changes and adjustments to my financial and personal life, some small, others major.
In fact, I almost feel that I participate in direct discussions with some of these bloggers and have actually formed mental images of some of these people.
If the blogs have this effect on me, they just might have the same effect on my children. If they try out this method, they may actually get to like it and start participating, not because they can earn some money from me, but rather because they can and want to learn something.
Then, by golly, they would have their peer group!
And if they don’t like the pf blogs, then back to the drawing board shall we go.