3 Ideas to Share and Save – 016

Memo from the Chief Mammal Header

“Working to help parents raise money-smart kids.”


What do volunteer vacations, the wealth mindset and needlets have in common?

They are all part of this week’s 3 Ideas to Share and Save. Now coming to you on Money-Smart Mondays! (Want to get this newsletter regularly? You can sign up here.)

I hope these ideas inspire you to have more conversations with your children about money.

— 1 —

Volunteer Vacations and Gratitude: Teaching your kids money smarts is a commitment to intentional parenting. Ellen Rogin focused much of her intentionality towards instilling gratitude in her children. One wonderful method she used was to take her family on volunteer vacations. Ellen discusses this approach and more in our recent Art of Allowance Podcast conversation.

Ellen is a pro at aligning her actions with her values. She brings some much-needed gravitas to New Age-y ideas like vision boards, which she calls “prosperity pictures.” If you, like me, have had trouble with visualization, Ellen explains how it worked for her and how it might work for our kids. She is such an interesting mix of the very practical (She’s a CPA and a CFP.) and the aspirational. I hope you’ll enjoy listening and learning.

Ellen Rogin on The Art of Allowance Podcast

— 2 —

The Wealth Mindset: My newest short essay addresses how we might encourage our children to think of money as wealth rather than income. I’m mindful, though, that some of this post’s readers might be in difficult financial situations that don’t appear to lend themselves to wealth building. This is particularly true of families struggling to recover in a COVID-affected world.

Perhaps something Psychology of Money author Morgan Housel said can help, “We don’t need to make a lot of money today in order to take advantage of time.” Morgan’s point underscores the importance of starting the money conversation early in order to give our kids time.

Yours truly with my Lego space cruiser
You’ll have to click on this image to find out how my LEGO space cruiser, circa 1979, relates to the wealth mindset.

— 3 —

Needlets Revisited: I introduced you to the concept of needlets in a previous newsletter. Because I think it’s useful, I want to revisit it. This notion can help you more effectively address the important money-smart skill of distinguishing between needs and wants.

Most kids can rattle off the basic needs of clothing, food and shelter. However, their rote memorization makes this concept begin to lose its utility as a teaching tool because everything else is essentially a want.

Distinguishing between wants and needlets, though, provides a more helpful framing. Needlets are items that are necessary within a certain context. For example, you need a soccer ball to play soccer. This context helps a child differentiate a needlet from a want, like a videogame, a pair of shoes or a Jamba Juice.

BTW…I realize that many of you might be thinking of scenarios in which the wants I listed above might also be needlets. You’re right!

Needlet definition

We’re introducing tweens and teens to needlets too. Above is one of our shareable Art of ADOLESCENT$ cards from our recently launched Art of Allowance Project.

And speaking of sharing, feel free to forward any of these 3 Ideas to Share and Save.

Until next week, enjoy the journey.

John, The Chief Mammal

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