Learning to Manage Money

Category Archives: Lessons

Problems With Teaching Financial Education

In my last article (teaching investing and wealth), I’ve encountered a huge snag.

What if your pupils (in my case, my kids), don’t really want to learn personal finances?

First, back to me! 

I come from a very diverse social class history!  My parents started out as a lower paid working class family, in a very poor neighborhood.  In fact, to give you and idea, the house I was raised in until I was three years old is still only valued at around 30k today (I used Zillow to check that out!)…  So I started out poor, but then after my parents got divorced, it got worse.  I remember temporarily sleeping in a basement a few times as my mom tried to find new places to live sometimes.  At about four, my grandparents took both my mom and I in.  They charged her something like $100 a month (very cheap) including free food and utilities. I ended up sleeping in one of their bedrooms, and that pretty much changed my life.

My grandparents were small business owners and actually had a few businesses running at the same time.  The were constantly working (or so it seemed to me).  I learned a lot from their continual struggling climb up the social and financial ladder in life.  So, I guess I’ve seen a lot and experienced very different social classes along the way.

My kids are different than I am.


I come from a background of never having a lot when I was younger, and as I got older I had the drive to want to accumulate wealth (like my grandparents did).  But my kids get a lot already, and they have grand experiences that I always wanted or didn’t even know existed.  For example, my son went to Florida, the Outer Banks Area, and two different type of “fun” camps this summer alone.  Even today he is traveling to a nearby large city for some fun with friends.  Both my son and daughter do expensive things, like participation in the Ski Club, gymnastics (for my daughter) and other incredible things.  They are both in advance classes at school, and both work and play hard!  Money and wealth accumulation doesn’t even register on their radar because they have practically everything that they want (or at least need) and are to busy for it actually.

So I imagine others are in the same boat that I’m finding myself in, where kids don’t want to learn such boring, dry areas as financial education because their cups runneth over already with kids things!  I know that my kids are not the exception.  Sports, school classes, girls, boys and other such distractions foil any attempts of teaching personal finance to kids.  Society doesn’t help either!  The media is constantly displaying the wealthy in a negative light, even as those criticizing the rich, are all withing the top 1%, it’s like they think were are dumb or something… go figure.

So I think the financial educational materials are out there, but there is no real desire to learn such areas for kids.  Plus, the lessons that are true today, will not be necessarily true 10, or even 5 years from now.  The economy is very dynamic and the landscape is constantly changing.

And so there you have it!  Motivating my kids, or even finding time for them to learn from me, are the struggles that I’m battling lately.

I’ll crack this nut eventually, but for now I’m floundering with the struggle!


What is a Stock?

What is a stock? A stock is a share of ownership in a company! Normally, when people say that they own stocks, what they are really referring to is “common stocks“.  Why would I want to own shares of common stock?  There are two primary advantages of owning common stock: Capital Appreciation – This means… Continue Reading

What is Debt Ratio?

The Debt Ratio is basically the total assets in a business that was acquired by the business borrowing the money from financial institutions and other such creditors to purchase those assets. The basic formula is Debt Ratio = (“Total Liabilities“/”Total Assets“) Let’s break this down into a real world example: Let’s pretend that you are… Continue Reading

What is Dollar Cost Averaging?

Dollar Cost Averaging  is an investment strategy where you are investing static amounts of chunks of money spread out over time (instead of a lump sum purchase) in a given investment. You might be wondering “what is the advantage of doing this form of investing”?  You might think that investing in small chunks is inferior… Continue Reading

Teaching My Son About Stocks

Last night I explained to my son why he should consider put his money in investments rather than a continuous saving and spending cycle. He didn’t understand what I was saying, so I started back with the basics. What is a Stock again? So, I decided to start as I usually do with the question,… Continue Reading