As parents, we’re always looking for ways that we should be educating our children. In today’s show Michael Yardney shares a few important financial lessons you can teach your children.
Kevin: As parents, we’re always looking for ways that we should be educating our children. I recorded an interview some months ago with Michael Yardney, and he talked then about the lessons we should be teaching our children. That was very, very popular and had a lot of listeners, so we’re going to do another, another seven crucial money lessons that every parent should teach their child.
Michael, welcome to the show once again.
Michael: Thanks, Kevin.
Kevin: What is lesson number one?
Michael: What we’re trying to do is save our kids from some of the hardships, some of the errors, and some of the mistakes we’ve made, because, remember, we learned a lot of what we know about how to handle money from our parents.
I think a really good lesson to start with is the sooner you save, the faster your money can grow – using compounding – and you can actually do something with it. Most adults – in fact, most kids, also – spend at least everything they have got, if not more than what they’ve got.
The trick is to teach your kids the importance of spending less than you earn, saving it, and keep investing it. For kids, they can then do something useful with it – they can buy that toy, they can buy that big-ticket item. For you and me, Kevin, it would be maybe to get the deposit for another property.
Kevin: Actually, I love the line that I’ve heard you use: it takes money to make money. So you have to start somewhere.
Michael: It does. You have actually got to teach your kids a level of financial fluency. A good way of doing that is being that way yourself.
Kevin: What about the criticism of this generation just wanting everything right now?
Michael: It’s so easy with the credit cards, the zero-interest payments for 48 months, and things like that. It’s a hard concept for people of all ages to learn; however, the ability to delay gratification in many ways predicts the success one has as a grown-up in all areas of life. Children really need to learn that if they really, really want something, they should wait, they should save up, and then buy it.
The problem is we all seem to want the best for our children. I know I was a bit that way myself. It’s a common trap. You don’t want your kids to go through some of the hardships you’ve had, so you give them the trampoline in the backyard, the new clothes, the new toys, and things like that. I think it’s probably best to teach kids to save a little bit of their pocket money and then get that nice prize at the end.
Kevin: Lesson number three, Michael?
Michael: You need to make choices how you spend money, because money is finite – no one has enough. You have to actually decide, if you spend it now, you’re not going to have it later. So teach them choices.
Kevin: What about good debt and bad debt?
Michael: That’s a little bit hard to teach younger kids, but it is important to teach them that necessary debt is [2:29 inaudible] by your home, and good debt is to borrow against appreciating assets. But to use debt – in other words, borrow – to buy depreciating assets, things that decrease in value, is a downward spiral.
Kevin: Like a car?
Michael: A car, the next plasma TV, the other big toys. If you can’t afford it – going back to one of the earlier lessons – save, wait, and be patient until you can afford.
Kevin: Lesson number five is one that we teach all the time, too, about building smart people around you.
Michael: If you’re the smartest person on your team, you’re in trouble, Kevin. You’re right. The most successful people in the world know that. It’s an important lesson to share with our kids. Surrounding yourself with good people is essential to get ahead in all areas. They inspire you, they motivate you, they lead by example.
Of course, your child’s first experience, somebody they’re going to look up to is you, so the best way to educate your kids in all things money is to ensure that you do a good job of educating yourself.
Kevin: Wow, that is a powerful lesson. What about a mentor, Michael?
Michael: You know that I always have mentors. I have business coaches. I know you have, Kevin, as well. In so many areas of life we teach children to look towards more accomplished, more experienced people for guidance. Why shouldn’t it happen with money, as well? Mentors have been helping everyday people become more successful. Teach them the value of having good mentors.
Kevin: There are a lot of temptations around, Michael. You mentioned earlier about credit cards. We see “interest-free” and “no repayment for 24 months.” That has to be a lesson in itself.
Michael: There are plenty of money messages in not getting a credit card – in other words, waiting, delaying gratification, saving up. I’ve seen so many young people – teenagers and people in their twenties – get caught up with not making the minimum repayments, and so when the interest-free period finishes up, they’re paying massive interest rates, and they get caught where they’re paying the debt for a long, long time. That’s a really good lesson, Kevin.
Kevin: It is indeed, Michael. On that note, we have to say farewell. But I just want to remind you that Michael is the director of Metropole Property Strategists. They create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He’s also a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property, and he writes his property blog – which you must have a look at; it’s a great read – PropertyUpdate.com.au.
Michael, thanks again for your time.
Michael: Thanks, Kevin. A final message is it’s never too early to start teaching kids how money works. Of course, showing them how it’s done is always more powerful than telling them how it’s done.