Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Literacy

Nancy, can you suggest three financial tips I can do right away with my children?

Yes of course.

First, use cash in front of your young children. They can’t relate to the concept of earning and spending money if they never see it. It’s good for you too! A study by MIT researchers found that people were willing to pay up to twice as much for a product when paying with a credit card. If you use cash, you’ll spend less because you will feel more of an emotional impact when you hand over the money.

Second, be sure you are teaching and showing your children that love does not mean buying “things” for them. As author Brian Tracy states: “How do children spell love? T-I-M-E.” Don’t make yourself feel guilty about not getting them the latest and greatest thing. Developing their self-control and decision making skills are critical for future financial success. The small decisions made daily are what add up to your financial outcome in the long-term.

Delayed gratification is an extremely important lesson for children to learn while they are young; it’s much easier than once they’ve become adults. It is important for a child’s emotional development to work towards goals and feel the thrill of achievement as well as the boost in self esteem that accompanies each success. If they continually get handed everything they want, the child never experiences the valuable lesson of doing it on their own. If they have everything, unfortunately they often end up valuing nothing.

Third, don’t talk negatively about money. This is important and may be challenging. For example, instead of saying you can’t afford something your child wants; ask them how they think they may be able to raise the money to buy the item. This helps them develop ideas and resourcefulness. Get them to write a list of ten or twenty ways they could earn the money.

Positive talk is important so they don’t grow up with an emotionally negative feeling towards money, an attitude that will be very hard to overcome later on.

I run a children’s charity, would you consider donating one of your books?

Yes, I certainly would.

Please email me the name of your charity, its purpose (in one paragraph), the registration number and how many children you work with. Include your mailing address and of course your name. The books are sent out to charitable organizations on a first come first served basis quarterly.

Thank you for your request!

Are your characters based on yourself or anyone you know?

Most of my ideas come directly or indirectly from people I’ve met or experiences I’ve had with family and friends. Jack and Emma’s friend’s names all come from people I went to school with or worked with over the years although their characters are typically not the same as the people I knew.

Do you try out your book ideas on children before you publish them?

Yes, I run my content ideas and the illustrations in front of children before publishing the books to ensure my readers will enjoy them. It helps that I have two young children and frequently interact with their friends!

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