Financial Literacy for Kids

Financial literacy for kids is an important and challenging undertaking. We all want to help young people succeed, but how best to do it? 

George talks about what some governments are trying to do, and what you can start doing immediately to create good habits.

Jul 26, 2023 | Blogs

About the Episode

Financial literacy for kids is an important and challenging undertaking. We all want to help young people succeed, but how best to do it? 

George talks about what some governments are trying to do, and what you can start doing immediately to create good habits. 

Here’s the WSJ article:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/college-savings-fund-san-francisco-85d32bf5

Here’s the financial calculator:

https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/simple-savings-calculator/

Here’s the Vanguard ETF:

https://investor.vanguard.com/investment-products/etfs/profile/voo#performance-fees

Find the free Goals, Values, and Get Out of Debt courses at 

https://moneyalignmentacademy.com/ondemand-courses/

Ready to get your finances together? Check out our DIY Financial Plan Course:

https://george-grombacher.aweb.page/DIY

Get your copy of George’s newest book, How to Get Good at Money: The Keys to Financial Peace of Mind and Prosperity

https://amzn.to/3NI5f6W

Get your copy of George’s first book, Be Your Own CFO: A Businesslike Approach to Your Personal Finances 

https://amzn.to/3l4eOkv

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher

Episode Transcript

I really think that the verdict is then the results are in we have evidence that says, mountain have it better to teach young people about money than to not teach young people about money, better to give them resources to remind them to coach them to help as much as possible, something we can all agree on. So help young people with money, help young people with life skills, helping young people with job skills, nothing but a good and positive thing. Thank you. As Wall Street Journal article I read about which I will link in the notes, which talked about a program in San Francisco, it started in 2011. And the program is pretty simple, opened up a brokerage account of some kind or savings account, leave as a savings account and deposited $50 into that account the state did on behalf of these 1500 kindergarten students. And the results are now in years later, kids can now start using this money for college. And on average, the amount has grown to $1,422. So not an inconsequential amount, not enough to pay for college. But it’s not the idea behind the account, the idea was to begin to foster good habits to begin to foster interest to begin to just help with financial literacy $1,400, that’s enough to to buy a computer to buy an airplane ticket to do lots of things. Like most things, or most money, I would rather have $1,422 then not have $1,422. So just one more thing about the program, everybody was automatically enrolled in it, I don’t remember reading anything about any parents being irritated that they that state gave their kids 50 bucks. And there were also opportunities for the kids to learn more, or actually rather earn more. If they participated, they could do extra credit different kinds of programs and get additional deposits into the account. So it’s a pretty cool thing. Article went on to talk about the challenges of the program from the parents and the students perspective was that they just kind of forgot about it. And there was not enough awareness, there were not enough reminders. And that’s a really, really tricky thing. Because we are awash in reminders, we are awash in in updates and whatever emails and that don’t need to go any further you appreciate and experience this every day. But that was the big thing. It’s like, oh, my gosh, I totally forgot about this thing. I should have been using it more. So what is the trick? And that is the trick. How do you help increase awareness and get that to actually motivate action? In a lot of ways. That is the the relationship between financial literacy and financial wellness, financial literacy is I understand how to do something I’m aware of the existence of this account and this example, wellness is that I’m actually using it, I’m putting more money into it, I’m paying attention to it, I understand how it all works. And, again, I heard this years ago that we are drowning in information and starving for wisdom. So this in this San Francisco experiment program. Sounds like it’s just not quite enough awareness. But still, on average that 50 bucks grew over the course of, you know, I guess 1312 or 12 years, to a pretty substantial amount of money. $1,400. So nothing to scoff at. But I can also say and it popped into my head, well, what difference does that make? What difference is $1,422? Make? Isn’t that kind of a waste of time and talked about the relationship between financial wellness and financial literacy? Well, we have these vicious cycles, and then we have virtuous cycles. And virtuous cycles are way better than vicious cycles are. You’ve ever been trapped, trapped in a vicious cycle, which probably many of us have, and many of us are still currently trapped in this in these vicious cycles. That’s really what this program is trying to address. It’s trying to break vicious cycles of generational poverty. have just people never literally never getting ahead, this wealth gap. A lot of that is in existence for a lot of reasons. But certainly, just because we never got started with these things, I don’t understand how money works, I’d never got started saving never got started investing? Well, if you can help a five year old if you can help a baby, a newborn baby or five year old or 10 year old, 15 year old 20 year old, start interacting positively with the financial system, then you create a virtuous cycle. And that’s what this is all about. That’s what that’s what success in any endeavor is all about. It’s not an inconsequential amount. So it’s a waste of time, or it’s life is all about small bites, it’s all about taking small steps. That is all that matters. You look around and look at the statistics and something like half of Americans whatever, can’t come up with 500 bucks in case of an emergency, so that you have 18 year olds with $1,400.20 1400 bucks, well, they now have more cash than the average American does. So that’s not an inconsequential thing. So that most of us are stuck in that paycheck to paycheck, no money cycle is a vicious one. So helping young people to get started off on the right foot, create a virtuous cycle. That’s what it’s all about. And so many of us have the best of intentions to start saving more, we’re going to save more tomorrow, we’re going to save more. next quarter, we’re going to save more next year, we’re finally going to get out of debt, and we’re going to start pursuing retirement, whatever it is. So it’s all about small bites. Could you lose 100 pounds in one swipe? No. Could you lose a pound a month? You know, how do you think you got if you happen to be 100 pounds overweight, or you know somebody is 100 pounds overweight, they did not become 100 pounds overweight, immediately, they probably gained a pound or two every single month, maybe three pounds a month? Well, obviously three pounds a month is 36 pounds a year. So three years later, you are 100 pounds overweight. And you get well you get healthy the same way you got sick, which is losing three pounds a month. And you do that three years, you just dropped 100 pounds? Well, the same thing goes with money. So if you just instead of depositing $50, one time, if you had a new baby gratulations to you, your bundle of joy is it help. It’s all amazing. He started putting 50 bucks away each month for that baby at age 18. If you were able to get a 6% rate of return that will grow to just under $20,000 19,190 bucks. If you upped that to 100 bucks a month, Well, believe it or not, it’s going to be twice as much. So it’s going to be about $38,000. Is that meaningful? Yeah, I think that that’s a meaningful amount of money. And that’s just taking small bites at it. Okay. I think that there are three really key things if you are interested in helping young people to get better at money or and or to create virtuous cycles for them. To get them started off on the right foot. There are so many different aspects of personal finance, which you could be thinking about or talking about. And I think a lot of the time, we want to go to really technical kinds of things. And that’s not wrong, like natural, but you are better served, we would all be better served if we just focused on really basic behaviors. Because if we can master those basics, if we can master the fundamentals, then we are in position to be fine tuning things and to be teaching kids about the stock market and investing and help them to be really financially sophisticated. But the reality is that most of us are not really financially sophisticated. Most of us are sucking it up when it comes to personal finances.

We’re all broke. I was there. I speak from personal experience, credit card debt. Whenever I’m well documented that for my the majority of my 20s I didn’t pay attention to my personal finances at all. And believe it or not, that didn’t work out awesome. Here are the three top things that you can apply personally in your life. But if you can help your kids to understand these things, and then to actually apply them, then I think that you’re really set them up for long term success. And I break it down though, like the Olympic medals. We have gold, silver and bronze. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s Send me an email. Gold Medal of personal finance is pay yourself first, I’m not going to get too deep into it, you can help your child, when they get their first job, they start earning an income, or even before that you can, you can contribute to a child’s IRA. But as soon as they start earning their first money on their own, open up an IRA, and you start making contributions on a monthly basis to that IRA, they do that 15 years old, I can almost guarantee a successful retirement, do it at 25, that can almost guarantee a successful retirement. So once you once you get or go to work at a job that offers a 401k, enroll in the 401k. So before the money goes to anybody else, you fund your financial priorities. That’s what it means to pay yourself first. So set up automatic contributions to a financial account or retirement account, and have that money go in to that account the first of every month. There are great calculators, which I will link in the in the notes of the show to help you figure out well geez, how much if I did start saving 500 bucks a month? What would that look like? Well, it would work out to be a lot of money. And you ought to do that. So teach your kids how to start putting money away for themselves immediately. silver metal is standard debt that crushes us. It it’s it’s the worst, particularly the credit card debt. It is the most nefarious kind of debt interest rates are at least 20% in the majority of credit cards out there. So it smashes us, it just crushes us, it keeps us from pursuing things that we really want. It keeps us in dead end jobs because we’re just stuck servicing debt. The Bible tells us that the borrower is slave to the lender. That’s what it is, we just get stuck. It limits our decision making crushes our hopes and dreams. You’ve not been there, just take my word for it. We’ve been there, do everything you can to get out of credit card debt, and help your kids to never get into credit card debt in the first place. Number three, the bronze medal of personal finance. Eight is to diversify. Take a diversified approach to your saving and investing. So no matter how good a company is, I don’t want you to put all your money into it. No matter how excited you are about Dogecoin do not put all of your money into it. Take a more diversified approach to your investing. A perfect way to diversify. Your investing approach is to invest in the s&p 500 Exchange Traded Fund, or ETF. I will also link an example of this the Vanguard s&p 500 ETF in the notes as well. And what that allows you to do instead of buying one share of Apple, albeit a wonderful company, you can buy one share of the s&p 500 ETF exchange traded fund and only piece of the 500 biggest companies in the stock market. That’s awesome, amazing diversification. Well, that must be really expensive. No, it’s literally just about free. The expense ratio, or how much this investment costs you to own is point zero 3%. So a percentage point 1% is made up of 100 basis points, just like $1 is made up of 100 pennies. So point zero 3% is three cents. It’s three basis points out of 100 basis points that make up a percent. So it’s not zero. But it’s almost free. If you had 100,000 I think you get the idea. It’s It’s wild. How how inexpensive investing has become for us. And you have the opportunity to take advantage of this wonderful diversified investment for just about free. And the curious how it’s performed since 2010, the website tells me that it’s gotten over a year, it’s gotten a 421% rate of return since 2010. That’s not the end of the world. If you got that over the next 10 years, you would put every penny that you ever earned into that investment. So obviously, we don’t know what the stock market’s going to do. That’s just what the past returns have done. Anyway. So pay yourself first. Stay out of debt. Take a diversified approach. And you are right to be checking out this video because you want to help children become more financially literate. Maybe the your kids maybe you are volunteering with young people and you’re interested in just helping to create these virtuous cycles and break vicious cycles, whatever it is, that’s awesome. And I commend San Francisco for taking these steps and for setting up these accounts, and I think that there are so many different organizations, companies, cities and towns and schools that want to help people. And it’s just an amazing thing. And there’s so many more opportunities. And we, but fundamentally, we just need more people out there sharing wisdom, as opposed to just spouting off information. Because, again, the big criticism or regret, or one of the challenges from the article, just talking about how we sort of forgot about it, we wish that we would have been reminded or had greater awareness of these accounts, take advantage of it. Who’s to say, who’s to say, at some level, all you can do is position people for success and then you let the chips fall where they may. But when it comes to kids in particularly if they’re your kids, you have a lot more influence over them, then you will once they are an adult, so doing your best to create good positive habits and behaviors, ASAP. It’s one of the most wonderful things you can do for a young person. So appreciate the time. Do your part by doing your best

 

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