Raise your hand if you’ve been in your favorite (or even not-so-favorite-but-I-have-to-go-there-anyway store) and heard the following: “But MOM! I want it! I NEED it! Can’t we just get it?” And yes, if that’s a call to action that’s coming from YOUR cart, fear not. I’ve been there. We’ve ALL been there (or will be at some point.) Precisely why I want to share these tips for teaching kids about money!
Teaching Kids About Money: The Top 7 Principles We Use
(Okay, go ahead and put your hands down or people might wonder what you’re doing.)
It’s no secret (I think) that kids want stuff. They want you to get them stuff. And they’d like it now. But from my experience, when they put in the WORK to get to the Squishies or the outfit or the lip gloss, it means a whole lot more than when we just hand it to them.
Ask my kids, and they have no problem telling you that I’m kind of a mean mom. When they want something, I usually say something like, “Well, how are you going to earn the money to get it?”
And then they ROLL their eyes.
And SIGH DRAMATICALLY.
Then start actually coming up with a PLAN to get it. (Whaaaaat?)
You see, one of the principles Jared and I have taught our kids is a little formula that has helped us be better as a couple, be better parents…and be better entrepreneurs.
Time + Energy = Building Something Great.
You probably have heard by now how our two girls built one heck of a business from scratch. Sure, I taught them some of the basic principles of e-commerce and they’d helped me with my own businesses. BUT they had to take the time to do their own research, test their product and ultimately identify a manufacturer to work with.
You read that right: I didn’t do it for them. THEY invested their time and their energy.
And you know what? Those two girls, who weren’t even in high school at the time, earned enough money to pay for their college educations in a matter of months. They built something AWESOME.
(Oh, and by the way—YOU can do the same thing, whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart!)
But this wasn’t the only thing that we taught our daughters (and sons) about the correlation between effort, earning and being entrepreneurs. We’ve also shared our experiences about the value of working hard. How when you’ve struggled and sacrificed and put in the time and effort you care a whole heck of a lot more about what you build, earn or create than just having someone hand it to you.
Teaching Kids About Money and Business
Curious about the other money lessons we’ve taught our kids?
(Pretend there’s the sound of those horns they use at royal weddings and stuff here.)
Jared and I have put together the list of the Top 7 Principles we use in teaching kids about money and business. (Spoiler alert: and how one of the most important things to know is that making money is a good thing, but it’s not THE thing if you know what I mean.)
- You have to work for your success. (gasp!!!!!) I know, HUGE learning moment, right? But it’s true! Real, honest-to-goodness success is never free.
- Money is there—go get it. We are NOT fans of the phrase “I can’t.” Or the idea that all the good ideas are taken. Or that someone is too young or too old or too whatever. If you want something badly enough, you can find a way to earn it.
- Find a problem and solve it. <—— See that right there? That is pretty much where every company began. You ever heard of a little shoe brand called Nike? It started with a track coach wanting to give his runners an advantage…and a waffle iron. Sara Blakely founded Spanx with scissors and a pair of control-top pantyhose…because she didn’t have the right underwear to go beneath a pair of white pants. Problem–> Solution –> Reward. (Cha-ching!)
- Save and give. This is something Jared and I have taught our kids from the beginning. Spending money is fun but so is seeing the results that come with saving your cash. For kids, that can mean they save for that gaming system they’re dying for (ever notice they treat the stuff they buy WAY better than the stuff you get them?) or something longer term, like college. And giving…oh my gosh…I love giving. When you share what you have with others it just makes your heart happy. It’s so great to see that smile on your child’s face when they realize how they’re making a difference. Yay, yay, yay.
- Love people…but know when to protect yourself too. Can we just all agree that mean people are stupid? As an entrepreneur, I have had my share of snarky comments come my way…and they sting! That’s why Jared and I talk to our kids about the importance of knowing how to protect themselves by not allowing what others say to get in their heads.
- Know where happiness comes from. Money does not make you happy. There, I’ve said it. And I’ll say it again: Money doesn’t make you happy. Be happy in the journey. Happy in the moment. Be happy with what you have and be happy with what you don’t. It’s totally okay to want things—yay for goals and working towards them! But look for joy in where you are and what you’re doing and who you’re with.
- You can totally love what you do AND get paid for it. It sounds crazy, but there are times when you kinda feel guilty about charging for something that you totally enjoy doing. But guess what? People are happy to pay you for it. If you have an awesome talent or idea or creation, it’s okay to get paid for your efforts. I promise.
By the way, we’ve totally made all of this super easy for you. Click the link and the download with the 7 principles we use when teaching kids about money will be sent to you via Facebook Messenger. It can be a great go-to guide for talking to your own kids.
Oh—and if you’ve learned some great ways to talk to your kids about money and the benefit of hard work, let this mama know about ‘em! I always love to hear your ideas!