Saturday, October 9, 2010

You're Only 13 Years Old!

The other day I had a great conversation with my niece. I was telling her about the recent developments in my business. I also told her to think about becoming a millionaire. She gave me the usual arguments,
"I don't want to be rich, I just want to be comfortable."

"I think it's better to give, than to receive."

"Business hurts people."

The sad thing about her comments is that she's only 13.

At 13 years old she has already internalized a lot of negative thoughts about money. I know from talking to her mom that my niece is really good at saving money. She can save half a penny if you let her. I was talking to her about how she saves her allowance and if she can do that, then she could do a lot more. She briefly interrupted me to tell me that she doesn't get an allowance.

STOP!!! Wait a minute, this young lady doesn't receive an allowance? I'm not judging, that's not a bad thing, but how is she saving money?

She just saves money from her birthday and whatever change her mom allows her to keep if she runs errands for her.  Now, I was a bit shocked that my niece has the ability to save money for over a year.  She has managed to parlay the bits and pieces that she gets from her mom and turn it into a savings account. 

Then I told her, "It sounds like you are waiting on a paycheck! You are dependent on someone else to decide when to give you some money.  Do you really need to depend on your mom in order for you to make some money?"  My niece tried to hem and haw about the fact that she has money, but at the end of the day, she doesn't really have anything. She's learning to wait. She's learning dependence on the kindness of others to give her some money. 

My niece is bright. She's won writing competitions, swim meets, cheerleading competitions, and she's even assisted in summer youth programs.  I asked her what kind of skills could she use to make some money of her own.  See, she was getting on my case because I don't watch a lot of television. I really don't have time. I told her if she stopped watching television and tutored someone for $15-$20/hour look how much more she would have within a month. Now let's say my niece watches 40 hours of television a month.  If she took 4 of those hours she could make $80 a month then she would be a lot richer and she wouldn't be waiting on her mom.  Then I told her to take half of that money and spend it like crazy.  I told her to take the other half and put it aside to place in her 401k when she turns 16! Just imagine if my niece spent the next 3 years saving a minimum of $40/month.  By the time she is 16, she would have $1,440 to deposit into her 401K!!!! Hmmm....sounds good to me! That's a great start!

If making a little change on the side is great for Malia and Sasha Obama, then I think my niece can jump right on in! Check this out Sasha and Malia Learning about Finance!

Note: I copied and pasted these images from the internet. They are not mine.

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