Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stop Reading to Your Kids!

I kid!  I kid!  You certainly wouldn't stop reading to your 2-, 3- or 4-year-olds because you know they can't read themselves.  Exposure to reading is a very important part of emergent literacy and will help them learn to read.  So why don't parents introduce simple money concepts like saving money to their kids at this age?  Ok, some do.  But most don't.  Why isn't "emergent financial literacy" considered just as important?  Just because your little one won't be able to tell you what a credit default swap is (if they can, please tell me) doesn't mean that they should be deprived of the essential building blocks to building good financial literacy habits down the road.  

Don't believe me?  Read the study, "Learning Your ABCs:  The Link Between Emergent Literacy and Early Childhood Financial Literacy" by Martha H. McCormick and David Godstead.

Please pass this message on to at least one person today.  You wouldn't dream of not exposing your kids to reading simply because they can't read.  Exposing them to "value of money" concepts (sharing, saving, spending smart) early is just as important because financial literacy is essential their future well-being.  Give preschoolers the tools to start building good financial habits.  Keep the message simple.  Start with saving.  Continue with sharing and then spending smart.  Want some help?  Try the "Thrive By Five" resource to the right.  Want to make it fun for kids?  Take a look at our Money Mammals program at www.themoneymammals.com.  

Oh...and don't stop reading to your kids.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Turning the Corner

I see one huge silver lining in the current economic crisis our world is facing - financial literacy is already becoming a huge, hot topic.  I've seen a marked increase in articles promoting frugality and even teaching kids about money.  Not surprisingly, it takes a massive calamity to open people's eyes up to the importance of something.  Let's hope that the sudden new emphasis on frugality can lead us to the promised land - a nation of people who save at least 10% of our disposable income.  There's never been a better time for all of us to become money mammals.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Needs and Wants Redux

Needs and wants. It's incredibly important to distinguish between the two. I've talked about this before, but it bears repeating. Why? I heard a report on NPR this week about an Audi dealership owner saying that the current economic crisis was keeping people from their transportation "needs." Hmmm. An Audi is a beautiful car, but it could hardly be considered a need. Even in car-centric Los Angeles, there are a number of options that would fulfill a car need at a much lower price. All of us with kids should think about this lesson - pay particular attention to your use of the words "wants" and "needs," especially when they are within earshot. We all know that kids ape our behaviors, and using the words needs and wants appropriately might help them better understand the difference.