When I talk to people about why they do the things they do, especially when the things they do are hard like working a lot of hours or building a business, I often hear the same answer:
I’m doing this to give my kids a better future.
It’s fascinating (and really sweet) that humans are so hard-wired for ensuring the survival (and thriving) of our species — so much so that we’ll work our tails off and make other massive sacrifices so the next generation can have it just a little bit better.
A lot of folks I know (myself included) have either been through so much therapy or taken so many personal growth seminars that they’re hyper-focused on not screwing up their kids. And while I think that every soul who comes into this world has her own karma and that we’re not solely responsible for our children’s personal experiences of being human, it’s nonetheless probably a good idea to be aware of what we’re teaching them. It’s our job to do the very best we can, after all.
Along these lines, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to teach kids about money in a way that’s sane and supportive. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak for an amazing organization based out of Boston called Invest In Girls. They teach high school girls about money. The organization even made up their own word for financial literacy that I love. They call it speaking “Finglish,” as in “Financial English.”
As I made the two-hour trip down to Boston from Portland, Maine, I pondered what I could teach these girls. I thought about myself at age 16 and what I most needed to hear at that time. I thought about the messages about money that our culture gives us. I thought about what money means to a teenage girl.