Thursday, September 22, 2016

Teach Your Kids What You Wish Your Parents Had Taught You About Money

Marty and Doc discussing money lessons

“What’s the one thing you wish you had learned about money growing up?”

Farnoosh Torabi used to pose that question to every guest on her So Money podcast.

Sifting through the responses from 81 episodes, I found a few common themes:

  1. Compound interest. “I wish I had learned about compound interest! Ah! If I had known what that was, I know I wouldn’t have spent all my money on glazed donuts and Mountain Dew.” ~Steve Stewart
  2. Investing early. “I wish my dad had said to the 22-year old me, ‘Look, just put 150 bucks a month away and forget about it.’ Even if I had just done that, now that I’m 43, it would have been a pretty colossal sum of cash. But, I didn’t know that enough.” ~Michael O’Neal
  3. Abundance mindset. “I wish I had known growing up that I’ll always be able to make money, and this is true of everyone. There was so much fear around money that was unnecessary.” ~Dave Asprey

What do you wish you had learned about money growing up?

Me? I wished I had learned about diversification earlier.

Your kids? What will they say someday?

It’s up to you. Maybe they’ll respond like Rebecca Jarvis: “I can’t answer that. I’m sincere in this, because I think my mom did a really good job.”

Wouldn’t that be so money?

Want to turn these tips into action? Check out


  1. A great discussion... I am enjoying your blog posts as I have two young ones at home. Here are a few tips from one of my other favorite bloggers, JLCollinsNH.

    The simple path to wealth

    It starts with nine basics. She doesn’t have to read any further than these to make it work. Just do it.
    1. Avoid fiscally irresponsible people. Never marry one or otherwise give him access to your money.
    2.Avoid money managers. It’s your money and no one will care for it better than you.
    3.Avoid debt.
    4.Save a portion of every dollar you get.
    5.The greater the percent of your income you save and invest, the sooner you’ll have F-You money. Try 50%. With no debt, this perfectly doable.
    6.Put this money in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) This is the fund you already own, so just keep adding to it.
    7.Realize the market and the value of your shares will sometimes drop dramatically. People all around you will panic. They’ll be screaming Sell, Sell, Sell. Ignore this. Even better: Buy more shares.
    8.When you can live off the dividends VTSAX provides you are financially free.
    9.The less you need, the more free you are.

    The entire post, including great discussion in the comments, can be found here:

  2. Doug, thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments. Yes, JLCollinsNH is a personal favorite too! That post is one of the first I read. Love his stock series as well:

    He really changed my thinking on investing, and I'm a huge VTSAX/VTI fan now. All my kids hold Vanguard index funds in their "Family 401k" Roth IRA accounts: