Sharon Lechter

FInancial Literacy | Money Education

ASU hosts Innovative Financial Literacy Program and Matches Scholarship Dollars to Winners

Pay Your Family First

 

April 9, 2014

For immediate release

 

 

 

 

Contact:  Angela Totman

angela@pyff.net; 480-607-1940

It’s Game Time!  ASU hosts Innovative Financial Literacy Program and Matches Scholarship Dollars to Winners

 

Paradise Valley/Phoenix, AZ – Pay Your Family First (PYFF), in cooperation with the Foundation for Youth Empowerment and Leadership Development will hold the third annual ThriveTime Challenge’s state championship at Arizona State University West Campus in Phoenix on April 17th from 5-9 p.m.

The event will be held at ASU’s Sun Devil Fitness Complex with appearances by local celebrities and guests.  The event is being emceed by Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen, MaddieRose Holler and includes a red carpet, prize drawings and scholarships to be awarded to winners.

During the championship, participants will compete in a three round, single elimination tournament of the award winning ThriveTime for Teens board game, created by international financial literacy expert Sharon Lechter, teaching vital time and money management skills.   The first player to “Thrive,” or win, at each table will advance to the second and third rounds. Scholarship recipients will be the winners of the final championship round.

PYFF’s CEO and acclaimed author, Sharon Lechter, is on a mission to promote financial education.

All students are provided great resources to take home and each of the three winners will earn a $1,000 donation for the school or youth organization they represent.   Participating high schools and organizations are also eligible to receive financial literacy curriculum at no cost.

“Everyone attending is a winner,” says Lechter. “We are thrilled to be partnering with ASU in our third year of this program, continuing to impact Arizona students and support high schools across the state in meeting financial education requirements.  A community collaboration, the ThriveTime Challenge brings corporate, personal and private sector champions together to address the pressing need for financial literacy education for Arizona’s teens. ”

The 1st place winner will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the ThriveTime Challenge program with second and third place each receiving $2,500.  As the tournament sponsor, ASU is generously matching all three scholarships.

“We are excited to be hosting the ThriveTime Challenge at our ASU West campus for the second year,” said Beatriz Rendon, Associate Vice President, Education Outreach and Student Services, Arizona State University. “Teaching students about financial literacy through this competition is a great way for students to learn money management skills and important college savings’ strategies.”

For the third year in a row Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey is expected to attend the State Tournament in April 2014.  “Arizona is very fortunate to have ThriveTime be so active in our local schools and communities,” added Ducey.  “Educating today’s youth and their families on real world financial issues is the best first step to a prosperous future.”

“The ThriveTime Challenge is such an awesome way for students to get together and learn real world financial skills in a fun, interactive and meaningful way,” said Nick Rodriguez, Founder of the Foundation for Youth Empowerment and Leadership Development organization. “It’s an honor and privilege for our Foundation to partner with the Thrive Time Challenge Initiative and we’ll continue to do our part to make sure the initiative continues to grow”.

Arizona high schools interested in hosting a ThriveTime Scholarship Challenge, or organizations interested in empowering the next generation of superstars by sponsoring the events, should contact Angela Totman at Pay Your Family First: angela@pyff.net.

For information regarding the ThriveTime Scholarship Challenge, please call 480-607-1940 or visit: www.thrivetimechallenge.com.

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To your Success!

Sharon Lechter

Getting What You Want in 2014!

Tis the season for goals, resolutions and thoughtfulness on what we would like the year ahead to bring.  According to University of Scranton research, each year 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions and less than 8% of American are successful with them.  Whether you are an annual resolver or tend to avoid them, there are several steps you can take to get what you want out of 2014.  Start taking action today and follow these steps throughout the year so that you are getting what you deserve in the year ahead.

  1. Set specific goals.  I know- you’ve heard it before.  I’ve said it before!  That is because there may be no more important step toward achieving your desires than explicitly defining what they are.  This means that rather than saying you want to lose weight…dictate how much.  Rather than saying you want to make more money, decide how much more.  If your end goal seems too big…break it up into small goals.  Do you want to lose 50 pounds this year but that seems impossible?  Setting a goal to lose 5 pounds a month seems much more manageable and will give you the same result (actually exceed it)!
  2. Set measurable and achievable goals.  This does not mean not to challenge yourself and stretch in the goal setting process.  But often people don’t stick to their goals or resolutions because they have made their goal too generalized and begin to feel like there is no finish line in sight.  Or their goals were so ambitious, they seem like insurmountable obstacles.  When mapping out your desires for 2014, be sure that you’ve identified the end goal, have a way to measure it and that although it may push you outside your comfort zone, your goals are practically attainable.
  3. Turn your goal into a plan.  While setting goals is an important step, it is just the first step!  In the process of interviewing top industry experts in preparation for the publication of Three Feet From Gold, it quickly became clear that the willingness to create a plan and take ACTION was a common theme in not just how they were able to succeed, but how many of them were able to overcome obstacles along the way.  Creating a plan will not only provide you with the road map to achieving our goal, but will give you the confidence to pursue it knowing that you have a well-thought out strategy for reaching it.
  4. Keep looking forward.  I hope that as you look back at 2013, you can celebrate the accomplishments and blessings you have in your life.  Few people see 100% achievement or success for their goals and resolutions.  But that does not mean for them that the year was a loss.  Even if you experienced tragedy or significant financial loss during the year, I encourage you to leave that where it belongs…in the past.  Our experiences are meant to be reflected upon and guide us…but they are not meant to define our future or stall us.  Think of it like a car…you have a rearview mirror to refer to what is behind you but your windshield is much larger because your focus should be on the future!

We all have the opportunity to cultivate 2014 into a year of prosperity.  If you feel stuck along the way, remember that there are support systems available to keep pushing you ahead.  Seek out a new networking group or read a book that will inspire you into action.  Outwitting the Devil was hugely impactful for me personally and was a gift in overcoming negativity so that I can focus on personal and professional missions.  I wish you a year of wonderful memories, inspired growth and achievements to be proud of!

To your success,

Sharon Lechter

A Gift for You

This time of year it is easy to find articles about holiday shoppers who are “self-gifting” while they shop for the perfect gift for others.  Whether it is because the deals are too good to pass up or because shoppers tend to invest in or replenish categories of goods that others wouldn’t buy for them as a holiday gift (like a vacuum or electric toothbrush) when they are on deep discount, “self-gifting” around the holidays has gained momentum since the early 2000s.  As you are considering that perfect give that you will love, don’t leave a brighter and more fulfilling future off your list!

The following are some of my favorite products featured on our website that would make great gifts to yourself (or a loved one) and if you order before December 23rd using the coupon code “Holiday2013” you will received a 15% discount on your purchase.  And right now I am happy to offer limited edition autographed copies of all the featured books on my list.

  1. Save Wisely, Spend Happily- I was so honored to be asked by the AICPA to create their first ever consumer publication. In celebration of their 125th anniversary, I worked with the AICPA and over 125 professionals across the country to bring you the truth about money…spending it, saving it and investing.  I affectionately refer to this book as “Chicken Soup for the Wallet”.  Going into 2014, it is the perfect guide for you or a loved one on what to look for, what questions to ask and what steps you can take to improve your financial future.  Learn more

  2. Outwitting the Devil- Written by Napoleon Hill himself to be the sequel to the bestselling personal development book of all time, Think and Grow Rich, the original manuscript was hidden for over 70 years because Hill’s family was afraid of the backlash it would create.  In this book, Hill takes on education, religion, sex and vanity and other avenues that the “devil”, whether real or imagined infiltrates and influences our lives.  This is the most powerful book I have ever been a part of it will be a life-changer for those who read it. Learn more
  3. Three Feet From Gold- My first work in partnership with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, this book is an incredible resource for the wisdom and insights that industry leaders shared they discovered in overcoming some of their most challenging times.  Not the traditional book on success, we asked these business giants how they got through their darkest hours and what kept them going when they were ready to quit.  You will relate to at least one of their stories and throughout the book are the nuggets that you can use to affirm yourself and stay motivated. Learn more
  4. ThriveTime for Teens- If you are looking for a tool to share with the young people in your life that will be fun and help them understand the realities of financial responsibility and what it is like in “the real world” this is it!  Teens have shared with us over and over how this game opened their eyes to what their parents deal with, to what they should expect when they are on their own and how they can change their decision making processes today to create a better tomorrow.  This is not only a great gift, but a wonderful family activity to get the conversation started about what the young people in your life know (or don’t know) about money.  Learn more.
  5. YOUTHpreneur It’s My BIZkit- I am always amazed and inspired by the creativity and desire to learn about business and entrepreneurship when working with youth.  With this kit, you can put your child in the driver’s seat of creating a business and sharing it with others.  Included in the kit is a business tote bag, resource guide, workbook and mentor’s guide.  In addition, your YOUTHpreneur will receive business card templates, thank you cards, letterhead and envelopes.  This kit contains everything your child needs to plan out and share their entrepreneurial adventure with others!  At the end of 7 steps, when your YOUTHpreneur completes the workbook, they will have drafted their business plan!   With this gift, you can ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of your loved one! Learn more

There is no better gift that you can give than that of prosperity and fulfillment.  I’ve put this holiday gift guide together based on my own love and passion for these products and the feedback that I have received from community members who have benefited from each of them.  This holiday season, I hope you invest in yourself and in the future of your loved ones with tools that will empower and inspire action for a brighter future!

To your success,

Sharon Lechter

With Gratitude

The Thanksgiving holiday holds a special place in my heart.  It is a day to celebrate and be grateful with family and friends.  This is a day where the only gift necessary it that of thanks.  Looking back on the year, we have had challenges as well as wins.  We have mourned tragedy and celebrated triumph.  On this day, we have the opportunity to halt the roller-coaster that many of us ride throughout the year and revel in our blessings!

I have so much to be thankful for, it would be an endless task to document everything.  In this post I share my blessings to honor you, and all those around me who support my pursuit of a life of both success, and significance.

Among so many things, I am thankful for

  1. A wonderful family. So much is said around the holidays about the importance of family.  That’s because it cannot be overstated!  I receive so much love and support from my husband and family and could not say enough about how special this is and how much it means. And combining family and business can often be difficult, but I would not have it any other way!
  2. Living a life following my passion.  Adopting the philosophy of “why not” so early in my career was such a huge step in creating the mindset that drives me to follow my heart, take the road less traveled and dedicate my profession and my life to the values and principles that I feel passionately about.  I am tremendously thankful that I have been able to stay on this path for so many years and to be able to serve others.
  3. Amazing friends and associations.  I often share about the importance of associations and it is because I know how important they have been in my own success.  Having friends that are supportive to your purpose and goals is a critical element to success.  That is why I often ask people to consider if the 5 people they spend the most time with are lifting them up.  I have friends that are more like family and am honored by their friendship.  In addition, the organizations and associations that have entrusted me with their brands, their messaging and their audiences have shown faith in me that drives me to improve every day.
  4. The ability to touch the lives of others.   Being of service is a value that is so important.  It was instilled in me by my father from a very young age.  Having so many people that allow me to become a part of their businesses, their family and their lives is amazing.  Having a team around me that is passionate about financial literacy and inspiring others to take control of their futures has been equally amazing.  I am blessed by each thank you note, email or message from those who share they have been touched by my work.  There is no higher honor that I could receive!
  5. 2014.  Looking back at 2013, we’ve done great things.  We had a successful 2nd year of our ThriveTime Challenge program.  We saw the passage of Arizona Senate Bill SB1449, creating greater emphasis on financial literacy in Arizona schools, and after launching Save Wisely, Spend Happily in association with the AICPA, I excitedly looked ahead at writing Think and Grow Rich for Women.  Continuing to build off of the momentum that you helped create by supporting our mission to be of service is our greatest blessing!

On behalf of Pay Your Family First and the ThriveTime Challenge and from the bottom of my heart, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

To your success,

Sharon Lechter

The Gift that Gives Back

The new school year is well under way and the holidays are approaching.  For us, this means we are back in the Game with the ThriveTime Challenge!

This annual financial literacy program benefits students and schools by combining opportunities for financial education, educational resources and awarding scholarship funds.  To date we have reached over 7,000 students in Arizona and as teachers look to implement their own ThriveTime events, this new level of ownership for the program provides opportunity to expand that reach even more.

Are you looking for yearend giving opportunities?  Or ways to get directly involved?  The ThriveTime Challenge program is a great way to give the gift of financial education!  Learn more about how you can get involved here.

In addition, here are ways you can support financial literacy for yourself and your loved ones during the holiday season and help your family avoid the post-holiday blues.

  1. Remember what the holidays are all about.  I love to give gifts and see the excitement when they are opened and it is easy to get wrapped up in finding the best deals and giving the best gifts.  Even better though is the time I get to spend with my family during the holidays.  We all have such busy lives and this time of year brings us all together.  That is the best gift of all.
  2. Give a little perspective.  For kids who are bombarded with advertisements via all forms of media, it is difficult not to feel like they are supposed to ask for all kinds of new and novel items during the holidays.  Most don’t stop and think about the financial impact of all those wants.  This is a great time of year to employ our ThriveTime for Teens board game as a third party, neutral tool to help those young people in your life understand the ins and outs of managing personal finances and making money decisions, in a fun and engaging way.
  3. Set 2014 up for success.  Year-end reflection and New Year resolutions are always on my mind this time of year.  You can set your loved ones up to establish healthy and reasonable goals with a little guidance from experts all over the country with Save Wisely, Spend Happily.  The information in this book is invaluable and a perfect gift right before the New Year.
  4. Share the gift that only you can give.  This time of year, the needs of others become more evident than ever.  Share a bit of yourself through volunteerism and not only will you benefit someone else, but you will feel great as well.  The personal satisfaction that comes with knowing you touched someone’s life is an incredible feeling and allows the spirit of gratitude and service to grow.
  5. Give yourself permission to stick to a budget.  No one wants to think about budgeting during the holidays…but without one you may end up with holiday remorse!  Create a budget and give yourself permission to stick to it.  You will feel great when those bank statements and credit card statements hit your inbox or your mail box and they say exactly what you expect.  Not only that, but your family will be grateful that you don’t have the added stress of figuring out how to recover from a holiday shopping season gone awry.

While we all look forward to those holiday breaks, our credit cards and bank accounts are working overtime.  Set yourself and your family up for a positive financial year end and it will be the gift that keeps on giving well into 2014.

Whether you are looking for that perfect holiday gift, or tools to stay on track this time of year, we’ve got you covered.  I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

To your success!

Sharon Lechter

Avoiding Holiday Remorse

Have you visited a major retailor or craft store lately?  You have probably seen the all too early reminders that the holiday season is fast approaching.  While aisles and aisles of holiday decorations and supplies should bring back happy memories and induce feelings of joy and festiveness…the holidays often bring unwanted stress and financial burden.  Traditions that began in gratitude and spiritual celebration for many families end up triggering events that lead to regret and financial uncertainty in the weeks following.

Rather than sticking with the status quo and accepting what seems like an obligation to overspend, you can begin new traditions in keeping with the spirit of the holidays.

  1. Food for the Soul:  Trade in the long grocery list and day of labor in your kitchen for a day of service.  During the holiday seasons there are a number of extra opportunities to help serve meals and gather supplies for those in need.  Make it a family activity centered around giving and gratitude.
  2. Creative Gift Giving:  How many gifts do you give or receive that end up being returned or regifted?  As an alternative to items that may not get used or you are unsure will be appreciated, think outside the gift box.  Make a donation in honor of your giftee to a worthy charity or one he or she feels passionate about.   A small donation will go a long way in benefiting others and making your loved one feel good.
  3. Less Means More:  If you love gift giving too much to scale back, give yourself the gift of holiday savings by making your own list and checking it twice!  Take the extra time to come up with one thoughtful gift for each person that has meaning rather than focusing on many gifts that may not stand the test of time. Remember, thoughtful does not necessarily mean expensive.  Some of the most special gifts include family photos, and other creative ways to capture memories that are very reasonably priced.
  4. Adopt New Tradition:  In the spirit of the holidays, engage your family to adopt a family or a child who may not be as fortunate.  Rather than stressing out about whether you’ve found the perfect gifts, redirect some of those funds to making the holidays amazing for others.  By exchanging your long list of gift recipients with one or two who really are in need, you will feel great about your choice and the savings you experience.   Get your extended family involved and when you gather for your holiday meals, celebrate the gift of charitable giving.
  5. Draw Out Savings:  In an effort to make the post-holiday weeks easier on your entire family, engage them in drawing names for gift giving.  Set a price point that feels comfortable for everyone and then set out on your quest for a gift for that one special person whose name you draw. 

If you have children in your life, any of the ideas above would set a great example.  To help further drive home the importance of financial responsibility and charitable giving, check out our ThriveTime game available here on Amazon.  An investment in financial education today will reinforce the lessons that will come from the strategies above.
To Your Success!


 

 

Financial Leadership


People in leadership positions, employ a variety of characteristics and skills to achieve results.  Being a good communicator, having a positive attitude, being passionate, and having expertise in your area of interest certainly are important.  In addition, most leaders have to deal with finances.  Whether you are the CEO(Chief Executive Officer) of an organization or the CEO of your household, both require income forecasting, working within a budget, understanding the activities that influence the budget, debt management and enrolling others in the importance of working within the established financial framework.

The following characteristics and values that make good leaders also make successful financial stewards.

  1. Honesty in all areas of life is certainly a plus.  When it comes to dealing with money, having integrity and operating with class not only allows you to sleep better at night, but also better enables you to engage others when it comes time to implement your plans.  This is especially true when you are being honest about your current financial situation so you can most effectively move forward.  Whether fundraising for a non-profit, managing household finances with a partner or reviewing last month’s financials with your team, truthfulness will best set you up for success and support.
  2. Commitment to the cause for which you are advocating not only shines more light on the cause, but will also draw others in to support the cause as well.  When it comes to financial matters, discipline and commitment to strategy combine to make a great one-two punch for progress.  Just like a road map is only good if you follow it, a plan only works when you stick to it in spite of adversity or challenge.  A good leader not only talks about commitment, but demonstrates it as well.  This is especially true when it comes to financial matters.  Do your financial activities demonstrate commitment to your cause?
  3. Flexibility is critical in allowing you, your business and/or your family to make necessary modifications as needed.  Just as life situations change, so do financial situations.  Once made, plans should allow for adjustments when and where necessary.  Remember, change doesn’t mean failure.  On the contrary, having the courage to make alterations along the way demonstrates commitment to the end goal.
  4. Vision for the future is one common trait that all good leaders have.  How do you envision your future?  Are you taking the steps today to get you there?  If the tools or the strategies you are using aren’t working, it may be time to look for new resources or take a look at the vision you are working toward to ensure it is what you really want.  Goal setting is an ongoing process and working for goals that are meaningful for you and your family will keep everyone more committed to the process.
  5. Humility is an important characteristic of all good leaders. They know they can’t do it all on their own.  If you are entering into unchartered or uncomfortable territory…ask for help.  Find the experts that can support you in your financial journey.  Business leaders understand the importance of partnerships and how to leverage the knowledge of others.  This is an equally important skill when it comes to managing finances.  Find the team of advisors that will empower you to achieve your vision!

Good leaders have a wide range of personalities.  The common characteristics above are found in business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, public leaders (we hope) as well as leaders of households.  Chances are, someone who employs these traits in one area of their life is going to utilize them in all areas- including finances.  Are you approaching your financial situation as a leader or are you recognizing an opportunity to step up your game?

Don’t forget that good leaders also mentor others.  As you take control of and elevate your financial situation, consider how you can empower others to do the same.  In addition to your family, friends or peers, we have a generation of youth thirsty for this type of knowledge.  We can all take steps to ensure a developing generation of effective financial leaders by sharing tools like our ThriveTime for Teens game.  Simply by showing an interest, you will create more impact than you realize!

To your success,

 

Sharon Lechter

Adopt the 8 Basic Principles of Avoiding Bad Debt


From retirees to new college graduates, debt management is probably the number one financial literacy challenge today.  While there are forms of good debt, many financial troubles are in some ways tied to bad debt.  Kids don’t think about it at all, and many parents report debt management as being a long term challenge.  In a culture of immediate gratification and where living beyond your means has become easy, it is important to understand that there are ways to avoid bad debt.

Most of the advice you see on the subject of debt is how to get out of it, rather than how to avoid it and minimize it in the first place. Think about it like gaining weight, where most of us need to avoid accumulating it, rather than look for some magic solution to getting rid of it. As with weight loss, it is easy to fall pretty to solutions that are untested, unrealistic, or simply don’t work.

Thus the simplest strategy for managing bad debt is to avoid it where possible. The first step is learning that all debt is not the same, and all financial instruments like credit cards and home mortgages, have both positive and negative attributes. Here are some key debt principles that will help you survive the financial challenges of today:

  1. Differentiate between “good debt” and “bad debt.”  Good debt has long-term strategic implications, like a mortgage on a rental property or a student loan that helps pay for a degree that will increase earning potential. Bad debt would include the coverage of short-term shortfalls, impulse purchases, and pushing your lifestyle up a notch.
  2. Adopt a smart strategy for using credit cards.  Credit cards are great when used to minimize the need for carrying cash, and keeping monthly reports on your spending or taking advantage of rewards. Don’t let them lull you into spending beyond your means, and pay the total amount due each month. That way you get the reward points, discounts, or even cash back, but not the debt penalties.
  3. Resolve to never pay late, and never miss a payment.  Always budget and commit to pay your bills on time, and in full.  Missing payments or making late payments will cost you penalties, lower your credit score, and lead you to bad debt. To avoid excuses and last minute distractions, use the automatic payment feature available at every bank.
  4. Measure and adjust.  You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so write down what you need to spend, and what money you really make.  A realistic spending plan is one of the most important elements to a successful financial plan.  Otherwise your dreams and whims will lead you down the path to bad debt.  Be honest with what you can afford, and include a strategy for eliminating existing debt in the budget.
  5. Don’t take on any debt without a clear plan to get out.  Build a plan to get out, with a timeline and a budget, before you commit yourself even to good debt. If you can’t come up with a clear plan to do it with debt, then plan to do without it.  Debts are more about perceived needs and priorities, rather than life or death decisions.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If you are about to miss a monthly payment, pick up the phone and explain, before you are tagged as a failure statistic. Be friendly, not adversarial, and offer a reasonable catch-up plan.  Make sure you are talking to someone who actually has the authority and perspective to address your request.
  7. Maintain an emergency fund.  Everyone has financial emergencies, no matter how carefully they plan.  These could be personal health problems, unexpected car repairs, or freaks of nature.  Teach your kids that the piggy bank is an emergency fund, so start small, but emergencies get bigger as you get older, so the fund needs to grow over time.
  8. Financial literacy is a continuous learning experience.  Use the Internet and daily newspapers to stay informed. The rules for avoiding debt and managing debt change every day, due to legislation and tax changes, the state of the economy, and your own personal situation (student, married, retired).  Ignorance will not get you out of debt.

Contrary to what you read in the papers, or hear from your neighbors, it is possible to avoid bad debt by managing your resources wisely. If you do incur debt, such as a reasonable amount in order to purchase a modest home or complete your education, work to repay it as quickly as possible and free yourself from that long-term burden and risk.

By successfully managing debt, you will better prepare yourself to take on additional financial literacy complexities, and you might find yourself really enjoying life and your family for a long time to come.

To your success!

 

Sharon

Entrepreneurship Takes Us to School

Starting a Business Early Teaches Financial Literacy

Managing the finances in your personal life is a lot like running a business, but running a business can be a lot more fun for a teenager or even a younger child. Thus, helping your child to be a young entrepreneur can be a very effective way for them to really experience and learn financial literacy.  You might even learn a thing or two at the same time.

If you think kids can’t run a business, take a look at this 2009 article on Business Insider, where pre-teens as young as 9-years-old made millions more than their parents. Kids have a natural-born entrepreneurial drive; we just need to create the space and home and at school for that drive to thrive!

According to a Wall Street Journal blog, some grade schools are now starting to teach entrepreneurship by having students start micro businesses. They found that it’s far easier to teach kids the practical business literacy skills first and let the abstract concepts of financial literacy materialize naturally.  Here are just a few key financial lessons than can be learned by starting a business:

  1. Making money can be fun.  Too many people grow up thinking that making money must involve “work,” which is painful and hard. To counter this, parents should help their kids to pick a hobby or talent that could become a business and make money. There are now tools available like our YOUTHpreneur Biz Kit to simplify the process and explain the terms.
  2. Budgeting is a natural part of business.  Have your young entrepreneur look ahead at things they need to start and run their business. Ask them to sit down and create a budget sheet. How much would it cost them for equipment or goods they might need, compared to how much they are making in profit? This should lead to think about income, expenses, and savings.
  3. Get a little help from your friends and family.  Now is the time for them to learn about loans, interest, and investments.  These are good things, in providing head starts for the business, but they all have to be paid back in due time.  In this context, the practical issues of teamwork, partnership, customers, and competitors are easily understood.
  4. Agreements in writing are normal business.  To remember who owes what to whom, and who promised to do what and when, things have to be written down for clarity, in a friendly way. This step will make the financial literacy concepts of loans, credit cards, and home mortgages more meaningful.
  5. Enjoy the power of ownership.  Owning a business is an opportunity for a joint trip to a bank or savings institution, to give them an understanding and real experience in dealing with money as a virtual as well as a physical entity.  Plus, it introduces the concept of keeping records, regular review of statements, and home rental versus ownership.
  6. Have them make real decisions on business activities.  It’s never too early to have your child understand the price differences between different quality parts, and the tradeoffs between higher prices and fewer customers.  Then there are the decisions about how much to spend on marketing, and when and how to hire help.
  7. Learn to use social media and the Internet responsibly.  Social media is fun for kids, but they need to understand that it has a serious side as well.  Financial literacy these days means they need to know how to avoid scams and phishing, how to use eCommerce safely, and how pay-per-click advertising really works.
  8. Start to build a resume they can be proud of. Through entrepreneurship, financial literacy is a natural and it provides for experiences that can be shared on college and other applications where leadership and special skills go a long way.

Financial literacy doesn’t have to be a boring exercise in memorizing abstract principles.  Learning can be fun for your child or loved one, in the context of following their passion and setting up a non-profit business to help others (social entrepreneur), or to generate some extra money for themselves.

In the process, your children might even grow to appreciate the reality and challenges you face in supporting them and running the household.  That could make your life a lot more enjoyable and satisfying as well.  Win-win situations are what businesses and financial literacy are all about.

To your success!

 

Sharon