black people and money

Remember: You are your child’s first Finance Professor

Remember: You are your child’s first Finance Professor

by Tiara Williams

When I was young, my family rarely talked about finances. I never knew the cost of groceries, bills or rent.
I just observed the spending habits of my aunts, grandmother and uncles. I came from a very large family, so some of them were working for others, but the majority of them had started businesses. Some times, their businesses would fail, but other times, they were experiencing great success. My aunts were minimalist and worked really hard, while my uncles were flashy and would spend money, the minute they made it. Their man concerns were girls, clothes and cars. By the age of seven, I understood and took something from both sides.

Because I observed entrepreneurship, it impressed me to always want to run a business of my own. I started my first lemonade stand when I was eight years old. I started a babysitters club at nine, but when I went to door to door telling parents about it, they laughed. I never knew the reason for their laughter. I guess I was pretty young. I sold penny candy bags, lil debbie cakes, and icy cups.

At the end of each week, I would have a large amount of change in my pocket.  I was rich for a young kid. But, I would be dying to spend it. My cousins and I would have ‘parties.’ We would go to the store and buy until the money was gone. We would purchase Faygo pops, penny candy and lots of sweets and go to the park and play double dutch.

In hindsight, I could have saved that money, but none of the adults thought about a teaching a seven year old about money management and saving. As a result, I thought that was the purpose of money, to spend.

I saw this video, Denise Richards at Howdini.com talks to author David Bach about the importance of teaching children how to manage their money. Bach says that our first financial teachers are at home. He says he was lucky to have his grandmother introduce him to public trading and stocks at the age of seven. But many parents are not thinking about teaching their kids great money management, and that’s a problem. He says its important to start young. Sometimes, we think that children will not understand the concept of money and spending but he did at a very young age.

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