My parents were terrible with their finances (and still are, sadly), so I learnt from them that ‘credit is OK’ and got myself into all kinds of trouble. Then, two years ago, I read The Barefoot Investor, and my partner and I are now very close to paying off all our debts. A few weeks ago I read The Barefoot Investor for Families. We have two children, aged 3 and 5, so we started the jam jars with them. Today we all went to Target, and when we were in the toy section, instead of saying “Mummy, can I have …” they were saying “I’m going to save up for this”. How powerful is that? We are determined for our kids to be financially savvy, and now we feel we can do it.
Thanks for writing and telling me of your win. You see, I got a letter from another parent this week who told me that I was corrupting the youth of Australia. Her basic argument was that making kids work for money is too full on: “Why not just let them be kids ‒ they’ve got the rest of their lives to worry about money?”
That’s certainly one approach, yet for me it’s code for “Don’t worry, shnookums, here’s twenty bucks”.
What you’re doing, on the other hand, is teaching your kids self-reliance. More importantly, you’re giving your kids self-confidence, and there’s no age restriction on that.
I’ve always said that an amazing thing happens when kids save up and buy something on their own steam. It’s not only a proud parenting moment for you, but it’s a life-changing experience for them. You got this!