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« Three Ways My Parents Put Me on The Road to Fame and Fortune | Main | Some Areas of the Country Produce More Millionaires »

July 22, 2010


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the most important thing that my mom showed me with regards to money was how to make a lot of it. She basically infected me with the entrepreneurship bug and for that i will be eternally grateful to her

How about that money moves on without out you. Inflation doesn't stop and just because you have a $100 bill in your pocket doesn't mean that it holds the same value (buying power) 10 years from now.

I would also add "To balance out your spending and saving so that it's an enjoyable balance... After all, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"!

Enjoy life while you are young, because some opportunities and friends may fade away if you don't establish and experience them while you have the chance.

If your friend has a boat, and invites you to go boating, participate! Free fun is the best fun (occasionally offer him/her some gas money)!

This is a great way to live large, cheaply!

- The true power of compound interest for the good and the bad.

- How to spot a scam and that you should follow your instincts in uncomfortable situations.

I really appreciate the fact that my parents actually covered almost everything everyone has mentioned. Knowledge really is power.

PMT stole my thunder :)

Seriously, one of the things I would teach a child is what money is and how it compares to wealth. Once you really understand what money is, you have the first tool you need to manage it effectively (yes - it's a transactional unit, no - it's not wealth storage, yes - it's an accounting tool, no - it doesn't represent anything, etc). If I knew then what I know now about the nature of money, I would have lived my life completely differently; far less emphasis on accumulation of dollars and more emphasis on wealth accumulation and overhead reduction.

I agree with you, FMF---only I'd put it, "how to work."

Too many kids these days leave home for college without ever having had (and don't plan to have while in college either) a job. Nothing induces you to take your studies seriously better than a boring minimum wage job.

Great post, and great comments so far. I just read a US congressional report that states about 25% of teens and young adults are unemployed right now. And it looks like their earning power will be reduced for possibly the next decade.

Now, more than ever, I think it is important to teach our kids the skills they need to be their own boss (either full or part-time).

Both my boys learned alot of the basic stated above in the Boy Scout merit badge called personal management. Excellent merit badge on teaching one of the scout tenants in there oath to be "thrifty"

I'm also going to teach my children how to coupon. I know it's just a small thing, but it saves me a ton.

I will want to teach my kids (once I have them) that money is a tool, not the be all end all - something I am still learning myself. After all, what is the point of having a lot of money if it is never put to use?

All good ideas. I would also add "how to deal with debt" because even with the best of intentions you can still get into debt - the goal would then be to keep it from getting out of hand.

How to understand debt, what kinds of debts are good (or
at least better, aka mortgage) and what kinds of debt are
bad (aka credit cards).

And secondly, along these lines, understand interest rates
and what an APR is.

Understand what insurance is, what kinds are important, and
why you'd want it. Make sure they understand that a warranty
is just another form of insurance.

How to think through an expense FULLY, classic example is
to have your kids understand all aspects of how car ownership
really works, where are the costs.

Teach them to never sign anything without fully reading and
understanding the contract.

Teach them how to say no to pushy people, especially sales
people. Make sure they have a financial backbone when it
comes to money. Bring them with you and fully engage them
in the purchase of something extremely major, such as a car,
make sure they hear all interactions with the sales folks,
make sure they understand how you're evaluating the deal,
make them analyze the seller's offer.

Teach them how to buy a used car.

Teach them the difference between a stock and a bond.

Make sure they understand how a bank business operates,
especially how a bank makes its money.

Make sure they fully understand the term "fiduciary duty"
and how to find out if someone has it.

Make sure they understand some basic legal concepts, such
as "plaintiff", "defendant", "habeus corpus", "felony",
"reasonable doubt", etc ...

Make sure they understand capitalism enough to understand
relationships between jobs and companies and GDP and stock
markets and investors and money, get them to see the big
picture, the economic circle of life.

Teach them the only thing in life they will ever have
absolute, full and total control is their attitude.

Teach them importance of being punctual, esp with their
school assignments, and then also jobs, and bills, etc.

Teach them love.

Oh, and a couple more ...

Teach them to never co-sign for a loan. Ever. EVER!
In lieu of co-signing, the only recourse (as a last
resort) is they loan money via a promissory note with
a small interest (makes it easier to uphold in court).
Oh wait, they don't have the cash money to loan?
Well, then, simple rule: teach them if they don't
have the cash for an outright loan to someone, then
by definition they don't have the cash+interest needed
for the loan payoff if they co-sign the loan. (*)

Teach them the difference between price and value.
Price is what you pay, value is what you get. This
applies to almost everything, from clothes, to cars,
to houses, to stocks, etc.

(*) Teach them to understand the difference between
a monthly payment on a loan and the total cost of
the loan after all payments are made. One should
never negotiate loans from a perspective of the
monthly payment, always negotiate from perspective
of total amount of all payments (aka total cost).

Oh, okay a couple more,

Teach them to protect their identity; they must learn to
keep their SSN private. It is never to be given out,
except to govt, for tax identification, and to businesses,
when you apply for credit. (Lesson: If you ever buy a
car and pay all cash, the dealer does NOT need your SSN.)

Teach them the importance of credit. At the least, no credit
is better than bad credit, so even if you don't use credit,
you should still teach your kids what it is. (The crime of
identity theft usually affects one's credit record, and not
in a good way. Those who use little to no credit may not
learn of identity theft until the damage, and credit record
destruction, has already occurred).

How to cook cheap and healthy food from scratch. Bonus points for learning how to plan menus around grocery inserts/sales.

With regards to my suggestion,

>> Make sure they fully understand the term "fiduciary duty"
>> and how to find out if someone has it.

See this article,

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