Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria has been quoted in a new personal finance book by Laura Vanderkam, All The Money In The World: What The Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending. Have you read it yet?
Check out the quote heard ’round the world …. ’round the bookshelves?
Use TV as a teachable moment. “TV has some of the best teachable moments ever,” says Shay Olivarria, a financial education speaker and author. If kids are watching shows they shouldn’t be watching (like MTV’s Cribs), then “at least get something good out of it,” she says. Why do the characters think that a flashy house or car indicates success? Talk about why a lower interest rate on a mortgage matters in terms of monthly payments, and if you’re working extra hours to afford a particular vacation or to get out of debt, make sure they see the connection.
Keep in mind that in a cashless age, kids may have a harder time grasping what money really is. “A lot of children don’t understand how ATM cards work,” says Olivarria. “They think it’s magic. They don’t understand that money has to go in the bank for you to pull money out of the bank.” They may think that when you want something, you just swipe a card and get it, without understanding that a bank balance is debited somewhere, or that you’ll have to pay a credit card bill later. So it may be worth using cash on occasion to help them understand what’s going on.
Also, feel free to let them fail. Olivarria enjoys taking her nephews, nieces and cousins to the amusement parks near her California home. She gives them a set amount of cash (say, $20) and says they have to use it for food and any other desires. Inevitably, the first time a child has cash in hand, he blows it on a plush toy in the first 5 minutes, and then has to suffer through a long day of watching his siblings eat hamburgers and ice cream and buy other souvenirs with their carefully stewarded $20 allowances. “That is an awesome lesson,” says Olivarria. “I’d rather let an 8-year-old go hungry at Disneyland because he blew his money on a plush Mickey than have a 30-year-old blow money on something and now his kids are homeless.”
Tough love, right? Do you agree? Disagree? Check out the book and share your thoughts.