7 Habits of Highly Motivated Kids for Financial Success
Use it with your own children to instill financial mastery in them
By SUNNY ISTAR LEE, IAR ®
For the Hedonist Magazine
Do you want your child to understand the value of money: what it takes to earn, save, manage, and invest it for future financial success?
In this article, I’ll share a simple, fun and practical Seven Habit system I developed for my two sons. I invite you to use it with your own children to instill financial mastery in them from a young age. These habits will lead them to a well-rounded, fulfilling, and successful life.
Habit #1: Develop a Money Master Mindset
Money mastery first begins with thoughts. If your children hear you say, “Money is the root of all evil” or “we’ll never be rich,” they may develop a negative view of money. That can lead to poor financial future. Instead, say such things as “Money is good,” “it is a tool to make our life comfortable and enjoyable,” or “we become rich by adding value to the marketplace.”
Habit #2: Start Saving Early!
Kickstart your children’s saving habits as soon as they are old enough to complete age-appropriate chores. Reward your children with coins they can deposit in a see-through bank. When they can see the coins pile up, they understand cause and effect—doing your chores causes your bank to fill.
When their piggy is full, take them to the bank to learn how to open a bank account, make deposits and withdrawals. Do these things with your children and not for them.
Habit #3: Create Reminders, Routines, and Rewards
How can you make these developing new habits last forever? The answer is to use reminders, routines, and rewards. A reminder initiates the behavior. A routine is the behavior itself, and a reward is what is gained from doing that behavior.
In my family, I used reward charts as a reminder, and gave my boys a commission when they finished their chores with good attitudes.
Habit #4: Set High Goals through Expectations
Complacency is one of the biggest enemies of success, so don’t let your children get too comfortable with the status quo. Work with them to set increasingly difficult goals. If you see a task as impossible, that’s how your kids will see it.
When you allow yourself to see it in a more affirming way, they will follow your lead.
Habit #5: Learn Personal Finance by Playing
Wouldn’t it be nice for your kids to learn how to handle the pressures of finding a job, paying bills, and running a profitable business—at home, under your supervision? That’s what I did with my kids and it worked!
Learning personal finance by playing money-related Internet games was the first step my sons took toward the real-life application of what they had learned ever since they were toddlers. Believe it or not, they can learn real-life skills from games. Then it’s time for the real world.
Habit #6: Go Experience the Real World
Teach your children how to budget, live within their means and calculate sales taxes for what they buy. Instruct them to buy whatever they want with their money and suddenly they will become more cautious. If they lose their money by making choices they later regret, they will only have lost a small percentage of their saving but gained a priceless lesson.
Habit #7: Give Back and Share the Love
What happens after your kids have worked hard doing chores, have money in their piggy banks, wallets, and accounts? They will likely become more generous; they will begin thinking of ways to use money to make other people happy.
That’s a natural progression made by highly motivated kids practicing these Seven Habits early.
(Featured on the Hedonist Magazine:)
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Sunny Istar Lee, a.k.a. “The Eagle Mom,” has been featured in LA Parent Magazine, AdvisorNews, Hedonist, on CBS News and many radio shows and podcasts. She is a founder and CEO of Good Life Advisors in Los Angeles and a Million Dollar Round Table member. Over the last few years, she has spoken to more than 30,000 people around the world about teaching children responsibility from a young age, and educated more than 2,000 underprivileged inner-city school students about financial literacy. Sunny is the author of six books including “Is Your Child a Money Master or a Money Monster?” www.moneymasterkids.co