We don't want our children to be money oriented. We want them to be happy. Still we don't want them to be ignorant of money issues.
But when to start? I'd like my children to not worry about money, even conceptually but to grow up and build their desires based on what they like to do, not what earns the most.
Saying that, I had a discussion with my son the other day about what he wanted to do. He wants to teach guitar. So we went through the number of students he could deal with, how much he could charge each student, how much he could make each month.
Then we compared that with how much he currently costs me.
He is now looking at other ideas.
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Money is energy, and options, and freedom and creativity.
Gasoline for the tank.
That's the kind of positive view I am trying to encourage.
Rather than the deepset cultural message in this country that money is a dirty thing that only the money-grubbing lower merchant class is interested in. And this is a very deepset attitude on the maternal family side in our family. They are extremely dumb, slooooow money and very proud of it. Very typical mindset.
If you take that attitude you can end up economic roadkill, in my view.
There was an idea I had come up with a couple of years ago regarding the value of real-life money as compared to virtual currency, and it had to do with staying away from spending real-life money on a virtual game, like everything on FB for example. Maybe it will work for the OP, I am not sure, but it basically went down like this...
You get your kid(s) a jelly jar. Every time they wanted to spend a dollar on the virtual thing (game or whatever it was), they would bite down hard on their bit and do without the virtual thing and instead take the physical dollar from their pocket and put it into the jelly jar.
After a few months, look at how much money is in that jelly jar. It is eye-opening!
(I suppose this would apply mostly to kids (and adults) who are addicted to paying for virtual online crap, which has zero value in the real-world. But I reckon' it can also somehow be adapted and applied to teaching youngsters the value of money.)
But I thought in some cases the online game virtual currency could be traded for the real thing.
I will say this much, when money and currency is gamified to the level of sugary deliciousness of an online game, my kids are super engaged. Whereas they are totally "meh" over actual trading.
Take some concept entity and tart it up with cute graphics and they go wild over it. Same with the wife.
I am quite sure that if I gave them the choice of playing a game with cute graphics for an hour to win 100 units of worthless virtual money vs. trading at a Unixoid looking interface like IB for an hour to gain $100, they would choose the cute worthless game route.
I think my point was askew from the query of the original post...My bad. I think I was beginning to rant about wasting real money on virtual junk, whereas in trading we are spending real money on what looks like a virtual "game".
OK, how's this for teaching kids the value of money?
Ever hear the phrase, "If you see a penny pick it up"?
Well, calculate it. It takes an average human two seconds to see a penny and pick it up.
That's $.30 per minute @ 2 seconds per penny. That comes out to $18 per hour picking up pennies. $720 tax free on a 40-hour work week of picking up pennies.
So each time your kids see a penny and pick it up, tell them they are earning $18 per hour. Once they get a boat-load of pennies in their jelly-jar, ask them to count what is in the jar and see how much they have. They will be surprised, for it certainly shocked the hell out of me when I calculated how much actual work I did to make $18 for that hour of nil labor. Beats working at Burger King!
Does that make sense? Sorry, I am very tired and need sleep.
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My younger daughter has her tenth birthday coming up this week.
This year we decided to get her an Australian Kangaroo silver coin. This is a one ounce coin, and the list price was about 3450 yen. This is nearly the same amount as we paid for the Liberty dollar last year, and meanwhile silver has gone way up in dollar terms. We usually look at the silver futures prices on the Finviz Futures page, but I need to figure out how to chart a spread on TOS so that we can look at or better yet track the progress of /SI and /6J.
The younger girl has a completely different brain from her elder sister's. She works hard to get money at odd jobs around the house and is a very careful saver, all transactions recorded in her notebook. When we set up her trading account I got the bank to give me a huge envelope full of large denomination bills in cash and had her count them. She counted them twice, carefully. (this is in contrast to her sister, who wanted to get away with visually inspecting the bills without counting them).
We are coming up on the first year anniversary of trading her account. She is up money but has shown no interest in drawing her 20% in earnings out to spend, preferring to leave the money in the account, even though I know she desperately wants a computer or an iPad and even though she has been told she can draw from the account to get it. This is an encouraging sign of a bit of a delayed gratification mentality.
I think I will go again to the bank and get the year's earnings money out in cash and make her count it. Make it real. This is something Jesse Livermore used to do. He would get his friendly banker lock him up in the vault over the weekend with his earnings for the year plus his trade journal so he could get a real sense of and reflect on what he had accomplished.
I would like to set up an exercise in which we calculate the hypothetical effect of drawing out 20% per year as opposed leaving it in the account, in terms of compound returns over time. The price of that iPad she delays purchasing this year could turn into the price of a car by the time she is an adult.
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Ken Robinson, if you know the name, says that all children are naturally curious. If you leave a child on their own they will naturally learn about their environment. I think you're right in saying that teaching is about engaging the children. Something not many teachers do, in my experience.
If I flip a coin 1,000,000 times, what are the odds of me wasting my time?