3 Ideas to Share and Save – 019

Memo from the Chief Mammal Header

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


We want our kids to be money-smart so they’ll have the freedom to craft meaningful lives for themselves.

Say what you will about our democracy’s issues, we are very fortunate to live in the United States. The road to raising our kids was paved by the generations before who fought and died for the freedom we now enjoy.

This particular Money-Smart Monday happens to be Memorial Day. So I’d like to dedicate today’s 3 Ideas to Share and Save to Henry “Hank” Edward Thomas, my great-uncle. My late grandfather (to whom I dedicated my book for parents, The Art of Allowance) lost his brother, Hank, in The Battle of the Bulge, the last large German offensive of World War II.

Hank never had the opportunity to have the kind of impact on others that my grandfather had on me.

In his memory, I hope you find these 3 Ideas to Share and Save impactful.

— 1 —

Gene Natali and the Roth IRA: My latest podcast with Troutwood CEO Gene Natali is a good one. I met Gene at a recent virtual conference held by the Jump$tart Coalition, a non-profit organization to which we both belong. Gene was a featured speaker and talked about many of the issues I discuss in The Art of Allowance Academy workshop and mention in this recent essay about The Age of Self-Sufficiency.

Gene Natali on The Art of Allowance Podcast

The Roth IRA was also a key topic in my conversation with Bill Dwight of FamZoo.

— 2 —

Marketing Manipulation: What do Jurassic Park, Brie Larson and free shipping have in common? They all appear in my latest essay, “How Can We Arm Our Kids for Battle in the Marketing Arena?”.

The Jurassic Park warden surprised by raptor
“Clever girl.”

Though I believe Seth Godin’s thesis (in this terrific book) that marketing has a useful societal role to play when it helps people solve problems, marketers also often act like malevolent magicians who are able to trick our kids with sleight of hand (or brain). It’s not so useful when marketers are solving a problem they’ve often just created. We didn’t have a craving for a Snickers until one was staring at us from the checkout line.

Marketing takes place in an arena, and we must equip our kids with battle armor to make better choices. Survival begins with an awareness of how easily we can be tricked. In my essay I highlight three categories of tactics marketers employ: paid endorsements, false urgency and the scourge of stuff we don’t need. I hope you find it helpful.

Also, I’d love to hear about strategies with which you’ve tried to arm your kids for battle in the marketing arena.

— 3 —

Freedom Isn’t Free: Let’s finish where we began — on the topic of freedom. Viktor Frankl (whom I referenced in this post about the “why” of allowance) survived the unimaginable horrors of Nazi concentration camps. I think often about the central thesis of his book Man’s Search for Meaning — that we are here to find meaning to our lives.

Viktor Frankl - Man's Search for Meaning

Most of Frankl’s fellow captives were not as fortunate as he was. Just as my Great-Uncle Hank wasn’t as fortunate as his brother, my grandfather. Fate plays an important role in our lives, and I am grateful that we have the good fortune — and the freedom — to try to raise our kids to be better versions of ourselves.

And as always, please consult with a financial or investment professional before engaging in any decisions that might affect your own financial well-being.

Until next week, I wish you and your family well on your money-smart journey.

John, The Chief Mammal

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