We’ve all heard the stereotype of the “trust fund kid” – you know, the entitled, lazy brat who coasts through life on a wealthy family’s money. But here’s the thing: not all trust fund kids are like that. You are actually in a very enviable position if your parents or other family have established a Virginia trust fund for your benefit. Of course, it can be a bad thing if mishandled or taken for granted; stories abound in the media of trust fund kids becoming overwhelmed with aimless or even self-destructive pursuits.
If you’re wondering what you can do to show others you’re more than just old money, here are some things to think about if you want to avoid the “trust fund kid” trope.
Find Your Own Purpose
One thing that is sure to set you apart from your family is finding your own purpose and passion in life. This doesn’t have to be something that makes you a ton of money. Although, if we’re being realistic, having a trust fund can definitely make it easier to pursue your dreams. But that means finding your passion could include more volunteering to help others than working for a paycheck. It could also be starting your own business, or even just finding a job that makes you feel fulfilled. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that truly matters to you.
Put in Some Work
On the topic of starting your own business or working a job, one way to avoid the trope is to actually earn and spend your own money. Most people likely have a bit of a beef with the typical trust fund kid because they assume you don’t know the value of hard work or that you’ve never had to struggle for anything. While it’s always nice to have savings to fall back on, and there’s nothing wrong with living comfortably, working hard for your money can give you a sense of pride that living on trust fund money cannot replicate.
Another thing to keep in mind is how you spend your money. Yes, it’s great to be able to afford nice things, but it’s important to remember that your spending has an impact on the world around you. Some essential principles those less fortunate than you practice can help you live a more balanced life:
- Establish and live on a budget
- Cultivate self-discipline in your finances
- Invest your own money wisely
- Learn to shop for the best deal
Consider supporting local businesses, charitable causes and sustainable initiatives.
Finally, don’t forget that money doesn’t buy happiness. Sure, it can make your life a little easier, but it’s the relationships we have, the personal growth we experience and the sense of purpose we find that truly brings joy to our lives.
Just because you come from a wealthy family doesn’t mean you have to fit the trust fund kid stereotype. And if the person who set up your trust was kind enough to include some “be a productive member of society” clause in the document, you’re halfway to beating the stereotype! Be proactive, mindful and balanced in your approach to life, and you’ll be just fine. And if you’re not fine, at least you’ll have a trust fund to fall back on.
Even if you’re young, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead. Promise Law of Virginia can help you create an estate plan so your assets are protected (that is, if you don’t spend all your money first.) Also, sometimes, your trust fund may give you power to say where things go at your death, but only if you do so the right way through your plan documents. If you’d like to learn more, attend one of Promise Law’s free estate planning workshops. Contact us today to get started.