finance

'I caught my daughter throwing money in the bin.'

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My daughter threw a ten cent piece in the bin.

We were cleaning the house and she found a dirty, blackened, sticky ten-cent piece which had been swept up in the rubbish pile. She was on dustpan duty. And she took one look at it, swept it up and put it in the bin.

“Where’s the ten cents?” I asked.

“I threw it away because it’s dirty,” she said,plainly.

I’d read about millenials spending big on smashed avocado but this? Literally throwing money away?

And that was the moment. That’s when I realised my children might have an issue when it comes to their perception of money.

The Barefoot Investor explains his “Jam Jar” system to Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo on This Glorious Mess.

I went to the bin and scooped it out, astonished at how different my children behaved around money compared to how my siblings and I did at the same age. For us, finding 10 cents was like finding a gold nugget. We would have picked it up, lovingly washed it, and placed it in a glass jar where it would take pride of place.

Like little magpies we’d keep any eye out for any other discarded coins, all of them precious finds.

But these days, Scott Pape, also known as The Barefoot Investor says it’s very hard to teach children about the value of money. Particularly at Christmas time, if you haven’t done the ground work.

He spoke with Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo on Mamamia podcast This Glorious Mess about how these days, because money has become electronic numbers whizzing back and forth, and ATM’s in walls spitting out notes into parents hands, kids have a different perception about the value of a buck.

The Barefoot Investor says teaching children about money has to start young. Image: The Barefoot Investor

"I've got a couple of kids and they learn by watching what we do." he says.

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The father of two says the best way to teach little kids about the value of money is to get them to see it, in front of their eyes. And all it takes is three jam jars.

"You get three jam jars...and you label them 'Spend', then 'Save', and 'Give'."

"The reason that we use jam jars is so that the kids can see through them. They can see the actual coins being put into each one of those jam jars."

To teach kids about money all you need is three jam jars. Image: iStock

He says any money your children receive should be divided equally between the jam jars.

"The idea is that kids do chores around the house. They have to do some chores being part of the family but if they want to earn money they have to actually go out and do stuff for the family."

Kids learn the value of how to save, how to enjoy money now,  and how to use their money for compassion and generosity.

"We work hard and we enjoy ourselves," he says. "We actually, we spend wisely so if we buy that Supersoaker to wet our brother, that's all cool."

"We really are fortunate and for your kids...pocket money isn't pocket money, it's just a tool for life-lessons. It's a tool for character building," he says.

Clearly that's exactly what my daughter needs, a set of three clearly labelled jam jars in which she can place any coins she comes across, regardless of how dirty they are.

Now, where's that bin...I'm sure my little dust-pan diva can wash one out so we can start...

Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess.

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And to find Scott Pape's book, and books mentioned in any other Mamamia podcast, go to apple.co/mamamia where you'll find all of our shows and books by our guests in one place.

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