Monday, February 16, 2009

Learn an Important Finance Lesson From a Child

There are lessons to be learned from all around us. Even today, I managed to relearn a very important lesson from my 7-year old son, Turner. And believe it or not, this lesson is one that everyone could learn from - whether for their business or the personal life.

Both my kids get an allowance for helping their Mom around the house. Normally, it's $2 / wk. But if they help out a lot, and go that extra mile, their Mom gives them an extra dollar. It's not a lot, but they are slowly starting to understand the value of money.

Just the other day, my son, was elated, as he counted the money he had saved. It turns out, there was over $30 in his bank. And even though, he had been very patient to save that much money, he knows that $30 has considerable buying power (for a 7-year old) and that money was burning a hole through his pocket. So off to the store they went.

It wasn't long, before he had found something that he "had to have" for only $20. What a bargain - he could get what he wanted and still have money to put back in his bank. Truly a win-win in anyone's mind.

Funny thing was that the lines at the store were long, and they had to go to another store, so my son, decided that he would just get it at the other store.

And what a great decision it was to wait. When Turner and his Mom got to the second store, he was overjoyed to find the exact same product on sale - for 50% off. That's right, my son, suddenly learned the power of shopping around - not from a book, in a classroom, or through a boring lecture from Dad, but from real life experience. By being a little patient, and investing a little time, he was going to get his new item now for just $10. What a thrill, he could buy three of them if he wanted.

But the lesson doesn't end there. You see, as Turner carried the item up to the cash register, beaming with his new found savings, he suddenly had a flash of "grown-up" insight - yet so simple only a child could recognize it. While walking up to pay, he suddenly realized that he didn't really need the object of his desire. He'd lived without up to this point and quite honestly he decided he could continue to do without it.

So when all was said and done, my 7-year old, learned his first real life lesson on value. At a very young age, he was able to see that money has value, and it can get you what you want - if you use it wisely. But more important, he learned that even having the ability to buy something, doesn't necessarily make it something that you truly want . . . or need. And that if you aren't careful, an unwise purchase today, could cost you what you truly want or need in the future.

Take a lesson from Turner, I know I did.


  1. That's a great story. With 2 kids around the same age I find that the human nature lessons to be invaluable as applied to small biz. Great post. Steve Averill

  2. What a wonderful lesson for us all. All too often we forget that a little patience and thought and sometimes restraint will bring us benefits we had not previously imagined possible.