A Message to Today's Teens
You are a teenager with many new responsibilities. Unlike most teenagers in society, you are fiscally responsible (likely because your parents taught you how to handle money properly, possibly using an allowance as the teaching method). So you’re set and ready for greater independence, right? Wrong! Being fiscally responsible is only half of the equation when it comes staying debt free. The other half is making good choices so that getting into debt doesn’t become the only option. If you are fiscally responsible and adhere to the tenets below, you can avoid debt (and even worse, immorality, imprisonment, and addiction) for a lifetime and grow in virtue.
1. Say no to drugs at all costs, even those that are legal, such as tobacco and “weed”. Drugs fuel addictions, and addictions are expensive, often costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year to maintain. Furthermore, drug users typically start with tobacco and then move onto hard substances, which are a gateway into immoral behavior, psychosis, and prison. If you don’t believe me, watch a couple seasons of “Forensic Files.” A majority of those crimes were committed by someone on drugs.
2. Choose your friends wisely. Peer pressure is a powerful influence, so choosing friends that won't lead you astray is essential. Furthermore, people tend to act like those they hang out with. If you want to be holy, hang out with other holy people.
3. Only date people who would make a good spouse. Dating is expensive, so don’t throw away money on someone you will never marry. Also, dating someone who doesn’t share your Catholic morals or values is extremely dangerous, since temptations against purity will be much harder to resist if they are constantly trying to push the boundaries.
4. Remain abstinent until marriage. Failing to remain abstinent until marriage is a sure-fire way to be in mortal sin regularly, entertain abortion as a valid option when things don’t go “as planned”, and be saddled with alimony payments that drain your finances. Following Tenet #3 makes this tenet much easier to follow. However, adhering to the Traditional Catholic guidelines on dating and courtship is also required.
5. Practice temperance and detachment. This means not living beyond your means and refraining from impulse buys, and being generous with the money you do have. Plus, you'll develop virtue that will aid in following all of the other tenets.
These tenets form the foundation of your adult life, which is why it is so important to follow them starting at an early age. With a solid and established foundation, you put yourself on a much easier path towards raising a family, maintaining financial freedom, and becoming a saint! And if you are beyond your teenage years and still haven't achieved these, it's not too late! Start today!