If you’ve been reading any of my stuff, you have likely found out that I’m not too crazy about saving, obtaining traditional schooling (especially if you’re using student loans), getting a job, or most traditional teachings or belief systems, about anything in life. Over the past few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m teaching my kids about money.
You may have found yourself wondering that very same thing. What things should I be teaching my kids when it comes money or business.
Did he just say business in the same sentence as teaching kids?
Yup, sure did!
Take a look around and pay attention.
The New World
The new billionaire club is filled with young individuals and it’s no longer the old geezers (I mean no offence, I’m slowly but surely entering that club myself) who hold the wealth.
And those young billionaires started young. Really young.
So if you think that Nev is insane for mentioning business skills as something to be taught to your kids then go away and take your kid with you. Those that are open minded and not afraid to let their kids explore with EVERYTHING that life and career has to offer will stay and learn.
I do wonder what the impact on success is for the kid who is exposed to business and money early in life compared to kids who start in their 40s? Oh wait, there is evidence yet again all around you.
The rich start teaching their kids about money and business right away. They don’t wait till they are in their 40s or 50s. They start at 4 or 5 and keep going until their death. So if it’s good enough for them, how could it possibly be bad for Junior?
What Kids Learn
For all my decades teaching kids and teens about many life topics, mostly not taught in classrooms, I have found an alarmingly high number of kids not being told much of anything about money.
No one told them what money is, where it comes from, how it’s created, what’s the best use of it or anything like that.
Oh, these kids knew all kinds of cool things to teach me.
Some of them were so good around farm animals and food growing that I would hang on their every word as they spoke how to best grow large head of cabbage (without chemicals) or best way to train your horse.
Others were up and up on everything and anything you can think of when it came to celebrities. I mean these kids were walking encyclopedias about whose song hit the number 1 chart, who dated whom, who cheated on whom with whom, where the best nail salon is, who the top tattoo artist is, how to boost a car, where the best spot is to jump someone…
How Kids Learn
Kids are like sponges. They pick up everything and anything and do not differentiate between what the put in their brains. And of course what goes in their brains is what they are exposed to.
My kids that were knowledgeable about farm animals grew up on farms and worked hard (I’m talking heavy labor here, up before dawn to get chores done before school). That’s why they knew just about anything you can think of, about operating a farm.
The other kids who could tell me some other skills they acquired got those by growing up on the streets. Life handed them a rough hand from a rigged deck of cards. And these kids were doing the best they could with what they got.
And isn’t that what we are all trying to do? Our best with what we got?
Growing up I wasn’t given a rich uncle.
I was given two parents who grew up during high communism/socialism and believed that any hard work was good for you. As long as you keep your head down, do as you’re told, never question what you’re being told, keep your opinions to yourself, and just keep producing you will be okay.
I grew up in a place where dreaming in color did not exist. Dressing in color was reserved to a handful of basics and even that was for kids only. Rich people existed in a land far far away and spoke different language. If you had food to eat and clothes that still fit you and were not ripped or stained, you were doing incredibly good.
So, perhaps I could understand some of my kids I taught that grew up on streets a bit better than others working at that place? I could see those that were done with that life and were ready for something new and those that were only taking a breather.
So, teach your kids about anything you’d want to know in your age.
Of course, how you teach it should be age appropriate and make sure you make it super simple and fun.
Teach Kids Money
Teach your kids about what money is and what it can do.
We often treat our kids, well like kids. And that’s not bad, per se. But everything has a consequence.
We want them to have more in life than we do, so we often give them just about everything they ask for in the hopes they will be happy.
What we end up finding is that we are raising spoiled brats who are not grateful for what they have but rather keep demanding for more.
Because they are human.
Human nature is such that we want more no matter how much we have.
Giving everything and asking for nothing is a prescription for disaster.
That’s why we have kids who have been given so much and who have hard time coping
with, well hard times.
Teaching your kids that money has value and comes from somewhere is important.
Look at it from the eyes of the kid.
We go to a store. I see a shiny object that I want. I demand it and perhaps I have to be a bit persuasive (asking nicely, begging, throwing a tantrum in the store and causing a scene) and poof it magically appears in my pocket. My parent had to swipe a magical card or tap their phone but all I know is they waved their magical device and I have what I wanted.
What if we stop to teach the kid where the money actually comes from and what you had to do to get it onto your magical device?
Instead of giving your kid an allowance, make them earn it.
Oh wait, isn’t that teaching them they have to trade their time for money?
Yes, it is. That is how majority of us earn our living. We have to do something to earn that money. It doesn’t just magically appear in our pocket!
The truth is, you are going to give some money to your kid anyways, yes? So why not put some value on that money?
Have them take out the trash, help with the meal prep, clean up dishes or kitchen after a meal, housekeeping, laundry, or any myriad of tasks that have to be done around the house. Set some type of rate for the tasks done and then pay them accordingly.
Perhaps you own a business. Your kids can work in your business. There are many tasks that need to be done, so why not have them help you? From stuffing envelopes to entering data to creating social media posts (depending on their age and abilities, of course).
Having your kid work in your business means you can legally pay them As long as they make below a certain threshold, their earnings are tax free (please check with your accountant and attorney on the amount and legalities as different countries have different rules). This strategy is a triple win: kid gets money (you would have given them anyways), kid learns the value of money and work, you reduce your taxable income.
Teach Kids Business
Aside from teaching kids about the value of money through getting them to help with the house chores or hiring them in your business, you can also help your kid start their own business.
But she’s only a kid. What can she do?
Kids do all kinds of things and are capable of much more than we give them credit for.
Depending on your kid’s age, abilities and your location there are many businesses your kid can start.
From grocery delivery service to cutting grass and shoveling, fence painting, online reselling service, game and app development, to office support services (shredding, organizing, envelope stuffing, data entry, etc.).
If you and your kid a bit more advanced, you can also try a passive income business (which of course would be my favorite thing to teach them). This one you can do alongside your kids and create an agreement of some type of shared revenue.
Before you stone me for suggesting to share revenue with the kid, hear me out and consider the lessons you are offering to your kid with this process.
Just about any business requires a starting capital, yes?
Say that you and your kid decide to start a candy vending business?
You’d lend them a money to start. This is excellent learning for you as a lender and your kid as a business owner. Of course, you’re a great parent. And so, you’re not going to charge your kid unreasonable rates. But set a small interest rate, as this is a great way for them to learn.
Help them get the machine and the candy. Help them find a location where they can put the machine in and help them maintain the business.
From the earnings, they have to pay you back. Just like they would any other lender. And they have to keep some money, to grow the business. Help them manage the rest of the money. Teach them to put some away and spend only a small portion of their earnings for whatever they want.
If you are incredibly uncomfortable lending to your kid (many reasons for that), you can either give them money, have them earn it from chores, or you can be an equity partner.
Regardless of how you help them start, help them start and help them grow.
You will be amazed what you and they learn from the process. You will also likely be amazed how your relationship changes from the simple process.
Just because the schools fail to teach our kids about money it doesn’t mean that we have to fail them altogether.
If the school won’t teach them and the society won’t do it, either, then you can. If you as a parent parent really want to help them learn, but you feel like you may not have a lot of knowledge, have them join the Money Academy.
I teach my own niece and nephew on these topics. And where there are 2 kids to be taught, why not make it 200?!
I’ve always been enamored with the idea that, if you must think, think big. It takes the same amount of energy to think big thoughts as it does to think small trivial ones. If it doesn’t cost more, why not think big?!
It takes the same amount of energy and work to produce stuff for my own kiddos. So, whether 2 kids read and learn or 2,000 join the tribe, it’s all the same to me. It takes just about the same amount of work to serve the 2 as it does to serve the 20,000. But I get a much larger satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped 200,000 kids and not only 2.
So have your kid join the Money Academy. Not only will they learn some great and important money and business lessons. They get to potentially meet and make some like-minded friends with parents who are supportive of the education. Oh, and the ever- increasing number is not a typo, in case you were wondering.
Want to get your kid into Money Academy, contact Nev.