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Major Life Skills to Teach Your Kids Before They Leave for College

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To help your kids make their way through college, be sure to teach them these major life skills they’ll need before they leave for college.

Sending your kids off to college represents a significant milestone in life.

You may feel like it was just yesterday that they were just little children on their way to the first day of school, and now they’re growing up into young adults and making big decisions about their lives.

It’s natural to have mixed feelings about this new chapter of life because as grown-up as the kids may think they are, you know quite well how young they really are.

To help your kids make their way through college, be sure to teach them the life skills they’ll need before they leave.

Steve Siebold is author of How Money Works and Secrets Self-Made Millionaires Teach Their Kids and a self-made multi-millionaire who has interviewed more than 1,300 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past 35 years.

college kids in classroom on laptops

Become self-educated:

Read books about success, money, business, investing, and anything else that can give you an edge in the real world. 

Higher education is indeed an excellent choice, but formal education will only make you a living.

Self-education will make you rich.  

Do what you love:

The fastest way to get rich is by doing something you love to do.

When you do something you love, and you’re good at, the world will reward you nicely.

While most people in the middle class say the rich are always working, the wealthy are actually having so much fun because they love what they do. 

Become a failure:

Most of today’s millionaires and billionaires lost large sums of money at one time.

In fact, many of them lost a lot of money over and over again.

Failure is often a prerequisite to massive success.

Don’t look at failure as a bad thing.

See it as a learning experience to make you more successful.

Don’t listen to limiting beliefs:

Regardless of who it is coming from, whether they are well-intended or not, don’t listen to people who tell you that you can only make so much money doing whatever it is you want to do.

By using creative thought and solving problems that people need solutions for, and by creating so much value in the marketplace, you can earn as much as you desire.

college girl outside college on laptop

Live small but dream big:

College was the perfect time to value frugality while drawing inspiration from your wildest dreams.

As you head off into the real world, you must live below your means for a time, use logic to dictate your thinking and emotion to motivate you into action. 

Develop a positive relationship with money: 

An important life skill that many people never seem to learn is money management.

Kids are always excited about the independence that comes with their college years, but they’re often not ready for it because they don’t know how to manage money.

As they start working, paying bills, and making a significant financial investment in college education, it will be important to have well-developed financial skills.

Talk to your kids about budgeting, managing bill payments, and saving for the future.

They’re going to need some guidance in this area, and you’ll be the first person they turn to.

Our kids need to learn to look at money from the standpoint of freedom, opportunity, possibility, and abundance.

Sadly, most kids learn to see money as a negative and look at it through the eyes of fear and scarcity.

Changing your beliefs about money won’t make them rich on its own, but it’s the key to building a solid financial foundation.

Know that you are now responsible:

Hopefully, your parents taught you fiscal responsibility.

In the past, you probably knew they were always there to help you out.

But now you’re most likely on your own when it comes to money.

So remember, it’s up to you to make smart choices about your money, what you spend it on, and how you invest and prepare for the future.

Time management is endlessly important in college.

Most new students are accustomed to the structured days of high school, in which their schedules are set and organized from the morning to the afternoon.

College does not work the same way.

While the work inside and outside of the classroom is more intensive, college students have lots of unstructured time outside of class.

To stay on top of their studies, your kids will need to be able to manage time effectively.

To be successful in any endeavor requires the ability to budget time effectively, so teach your kids how to make the most out of hours in their days.

college kids studying together in college library

Take Care of Yourself:

To survive in college, kids also need to know how to take care of themselves on a day to day basis.

This means everything from eating healthy to cleaning and doing laundry.

Somehow, many kids manage to avoid learning about any of those things.

Teaching your kids the basics of cooking and planning a healthy diet will help keep them well-nourished while you’re not around.

Other basic daily life skills like laundry and cleaning may seem obvious.

Still, kids who don’t develop these skills into habits before they leave for college will be more prone to perpetuating poor living habits later in life.

High grades in high school are not the only things that kids need before they go off to college.

They may be living in dorm rooms now, but before you know it they’ll be living on their own, pursuing RN to MSN online degrees, working all day, and studying all night.

It only gets more complicated from here, and your kids will need to learn the life skills that will carry them through this new chapter in their lives.

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