Money doesn’t come with instructions. Neither to children. It is up to the parents and other stakeholders to model money management skills that help raise financially savvy kids. My audience (ages 15-20) decided to name my financial instruction segment of their conference ‘Get Your Money Up.’ I proudly accept their challenge to show ’em the money!
The earlier we start, the better. Here are the 10 for 10 (money lessons kids can learn before the age of 10). I also put these concepts in my kid money books. But more than the written word, teens crave interactivity! Interactive websites, twitter chats and workshops are the background for bite-sized financial information that helps people develop their personal financial capabilities. The Jumpstart Coalition is brimming with online resources to stimulate your youth audience. As for me, money became more pliable once I was able understand the language of money and the world of money. My goal became to provide relevant in-your-face finance (since that is how the pain of a financial mistake often feels).
I also like thinking outside of the box. If I had to create my own FICO acronym it would be “Financial Index Capability Outcome” as a baseline for can be achieved financially speaking, over a lifetime. The conference has to be interactive and be able to keep up with their sensory needs to get the message through. I’m not talking about sock puppets.
Unless of course, we are discussing the sock puppet entertainment business model, such as Jim Henson and the Muppets! It is important to go with the energy and enthusiasm that young people innately have inside. We will have to talk about the changes the young people want to see in the world and help them monetize their talents. After all, we want to raise entrepreneurs, not just employees…. just in case, ya know?
The curriculum – that’s the easy part. Financial planning, advice and lesson plans are available… what is needed is an expert that people feel like they know, like and trust. Someone who is highly relatable, and provides the correct information. I am sold on the idea that everyone can understand money ~ what it is, where it comes from and how to make it grow. I am so proud of the teens that created a positive expectation for their financial instruction by calling it ‘Get Your Money Up’.
Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money “Can I Have Some Money?”. Educating Children About Money, Max Gets It!, Nacho Money and other titles. She is the Brooklyn mother of two and is on Facebook and Twitter (Candi Sparks, author).