International Youth Day, celebrated annually on 12th August, presents an important opportunity to recognize the youth as potential agents of change and constructive participants in the development of society.
SamuelFields Consulting Group (SFCG) is a Community eLearning Partner that specializes in financial wellness.
They recognize good money management, financial literacy, and the building of assets as critical life skills that today’s youth need to achieve a sustainable livelihood.
SFCG is committed to financial democracy by providing free access to financial education to help cultivate financial resilience among the youth.
Three weeks ago, SFCG launched the Youth Finance Ambassador Program to bring young people ages 15 – 35 together, to promote a mutual understanding of money management, increase their leadership skills and capitalize on opportunities for career development and entrepreneurship. (Launch of SFCG’s Youth Ambassador Program https://www.youtube.com/live/AAPdzOz9sxc?feature=share)
“Money habits are developed at a young age. Whether it is psychological or emotional impulses to splurge when we have extra money, or the need to feel good as we celebrate a holiday or major milestone.
Although we fully understand the mathematics of our choices, many of us still make poor financial decisions,” said Megan Samuel-Fields, CEO SFCG.
The CEO attributes bad money habits to several factors, including ads that bombard the youth with images of a new car, a vacation, electronic gadgets, or beauty products.
Peer pressure is also cited as a contributor to bad money habits, by conferring status to things and experiences that many youth crave but cannot afford.
Without the proper tools to manage these habits, many youth find themselves quickly draining their paychecks and savings accounts and racking up debt.
Whereas many bad habits provide instant gratification, good money habits can feel like a sacrifice.
As part of the Youth Financial Ambassador Program, SFCG will help educate participants by taking them through a 7-step process to set financial goals and make better financial decisions.
Reprogramming The Youth Money Mindset
- Reduce exposure to advertising. Watch less television (or watch it in a way that cuts out commercials). Skip magazine ads. Use an adblocker for your browser. The less advertising you see, the less you’ll be persuaded to buy things you do not need.
- Avoid temptation. If you’re tempted at malls, or by online shopping offers, stay away. If you often succumb to peer pressure, don’t go out for drinks with your friends. Avoid situations that tempt you to overspend.
- Always pay in full. Open and pay your credit card bills as soon as they arrive and pay off the total amount each month. Pay with cash or with a debit card as much as possible.
- Automate. One of the best ways to trick your mind is to simply take it out of the equation. If you find it difficult to make smart financial choices, remove the choice. Sign up for auto-bill pay. Make savings one of your strengths by setting up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking to your savings account.
- Eliminate an expense. We all make small, habitual purchases that can add up. Find one that you can lose or minimize. For example, downgrade your mobile plan and find ways to still stay in touch.
- Practice mindfulness. When tempted to make a purchase, pause. Take 30 seconds to ask yourself if you truly need it. If this is a big purchase (like a car), force yourself to wait 30 days. Track every penny you spend so that you become aware of your weaknesses.
- Read. Better financial education can help shape your psyche. The more articles that you read about savings, spending, debt, investment, and retirement, the more apt you will be to make rational decisions. It helps to take the emotion out of the equation.
SFCG will host the YOLO Summit 2023 with Pockets Change, a US based group of financial educators.
The conference will focus on Youth, Opportunities, Lessons and Outcomes in business and finance and will be held on September 23 & 24, 2023 at Julee’s on Cross and Tanner Streets.
It will feature local, regional, and international speakers and will include music and culture as part of the creative learning process, to facilitate engaging financial conversations among the youth.
A highlight of the YOLO Summit will be the Money Jam, featuring live youth performances, coordinated by Caribbean Hip Hop MC and finance educator, Dyalekt.
This US based instructor who is no stranger to the financial education circuit, will help the youth “find their financial rhythm,” through creativity and self-expression.
Participants will have an opportunity to win cash and prizes by telling their “money story” through a combination of original songs, spoken word, music, dance, art, culture, and financial education.
Youth Financial Ambassadors will also be recognized at the conference and receive a Certificate of Achievement.
To learn more about the Youth Financial Ambassador Program and to pre-register for the YOLO Summit visit: samuelfieldsconsulting.com, or contact us at [email protected]
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