My wife and I don’t have children, but many of our friends do. It’s fun to watch them grow. Most of these children are in school now, and beginning to develop an understanding of money.
For example, my young friends Harrison and Antonio are excited about entering a particular model-building contest. (For K’NEX, maybe?) The prize for creating the best model — which these two boys are sure they will do — is $10,000. They’ve decided that when they win, they will save use $1,000 to buy more K’NEX, and save the rest for college.
It’s a challenge to convey good money habits to their children. Harrison and Antonio’s parents are doing a good job. Get Rich Slowly reader MM has some great advice for parents, too. Here’s a comment from a recent thread:
We now talk to our children about ‘getting rich the slow & steady way’ all the time — with the simple message that one way to get rich is to save your money. When he was 2 years old we began giving our oldest son a $1 allowance twice a month, by age 4 it was up to $2, and now at age 8 he gets $5 twice a month. At first he would immediately want to spend the money — on candy & cheap dollar store toys. I became concerned about how eagerly and quickly he wanted to spend, spend, spend. But we decided to let his excitment at having cash in hand to run its course — with subtle parental comments about cheap toys breaking so quickly, candy being gone in a few minutes, and how he could have bought that nice big Tonka truck if he’d saved just two allowances. Eventually he began to save $10 or $20 to feed his Geo Trax obsession, and stopped the frenzied spending on cheap stuff.
And this year he decided he wanted to become rich by saving! It took him 6 months (a very long time to a little boy!) but two months ago he opened an ING savings account with a $50 deposit — and a $25 bonus because Mom & Dad temporarily deposited $250 in the account. Our son is amazed that a bank will pay him just to store his money (interest), and thinks that just the coolest thing ever. He now saves 10% of everything he earns ($1 per month from his allowance). Even better, he now actively searches out dropped coins in parking lots and on store floors so he can add that to his get rich savings. I’m so proud of his initiative and I have no doubt that he will become a rich young man.
I love this story. It’s awesome. MM’s son is well on the way to future financial success.
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