Managing money has always been a non-existent skill for me. From the time when I’d spend my last dime on ten-cent candies, to recent where I find any reason to buy my next pair of Nike’s. I never knew its importance until my mother, who coincidentally also had the same tendencies, passed down a book for me to read. Its title read Rich Dad Poor Dad and its lessons were crucial. Combined with my own experiences and my notions of what others taught me growing up, these lessons became priceless. Through Richard Kiyosaki’s book, I became introduced to ideas that seemed familiar but were never applied to my own life. Through the hard times of being cash strapped throughout high school and college, I found value in applying these lessons as I got older and had more responsibilities.

Here are a few I found:

⦁ Regardless of how much money you make, if not managed well, you will reach the same result of being cash strapped. Manage your expenses and create a budget of necessities, desires and anything else. What’s a necessity always and must come first but before buying a non-necessity, consider how much you really want it. If it can wait, save the purchase for another time or make compromises and buy them every so often.

⦁ The rich acquire assets, not liabilities. By that, assets are income producing entities that will make money for you. At a young age this may be hard to comprehend but the earlier you learn these ideas, the better it may help you as you grow up. Liabilities on the other hand lose value. We all want and need liabilities but when planning to buy one, make sure you have the resources to do so because it may surface more stress managing and maintaining it (think expensive car not in your budget). Assets can be as easy as downloading apps like Acorn and depositing spare change to be invested for you. From there, you can learn how to create other assets for yourself.

⦁ Work for yourself, whenever you can. Not all of us want to live entrepreneurial lifestyles, and that’s perfectly ok. However, if you have a skill (painting, photography, detailing cars, cooking, selling clothes), find a way to incorporate that passion into a side hustle. It’s a great way to showcase your hard work, while generating cash at the same time. You can develop your skills and enjoy working.

Being financially literate is a skill I work on every day. It does take drastic changes and those changes do take time. Trust the process and implement small changes in your day to day routine. Over time, these may help you immensely and ensure you will not stress over being limited on cash.

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Nathan Delacth is a recent graduate from California Lutheran University where he majored in Biology. He plans to attend medical school where he can pursue an MD/MPH in hopes of serving his community and joining the small but growing number of Black physicians in the medical field. Growing up with immigrant parents from Cape Verde meant two identities in countries he both called home. As an American, his desire to uplift the communities that helped him become the person he is means actively fighting longstanding healthcare inequalities plaguing African American communities while joining the growing 5% of Black physicians in the US. As a Cape Verdean, conscious of the tribulations and widespread poverty, his goal to establish clinics on the island of Fogo means residents will have access to basic healthcare regardless of financial status. Making resources accessible to those who need them the most has always been at the forefront of his efforts to strive for progression. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer with friends, spearfishing in Malibu, and mentoring others in options trading.


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