Why You Shouldn’t Teach Your Kids to Save Money: Learn About “The Awesome Stuff”

Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show.  I am here with David Delisle and he is the author of The Golden Quest, and it is an amazing graphic novel for kids to learn about money. I’m excited to have you. And the topic that we’re gonna be talking about is why you shouldn’t teach your kids to save money.

I am pretty excited about diving into this because that’s a very unusual take on, you know, finances and money and teaching kids. So, I’m very excited about that. But before we dive in, please tell us about it. 

I’m excited about that too because it’s a little different from the way we tend to think about money. So for myself, I mean, really I started my journey young. I was into learning about money and reading about finance when I was like 10 or 11 and reading these different books. 

So I’ve always been interested and fascinated with this idea, of money and making money and investing money, and sort of seeing that, the story evolved over the years, and now as a parent with two young boys, realizing that I want to sort of pass on what I’ve learned, what I’ve, what I’ve seen, and, and also really surprised, how much of money isn’t as tricky as it needs to be.

I made it trickier because I wanted to get in the weeds and learn about it and do all these things, but it doesn’t have to be. And all of that is noise and not what is important. So what I try to do is figure out what is important. What do I want to teach my boys? How do I teach my boys?

And that’s when I realized most of what we have out there and the way we think about it, that’s part of the problem. And that’s what’s so tricky is we don’t understand it. And that led me to write this book and, try to just simplify the whole. The whole thing is really what is important.

Yeah Well, and I’ll back it up from the graphic novel a bit, just how you’re talking about the numbers and, and that’s almost what led me to the graphic novel because when we think about money, we think about math, we think about numbers, we think of complication, and it scares people away.

I even see you hesitating a bit because when I talk about money, people are like, yeah, I don’t wanna talk about money. We don’t wanna talk about math. And, and that’s what I meant by the noise money includes all those things, but really, what we wanna learn about it is habits and mindset, which have nothing to do with Math at all.

 And that’s why it led so well to a graphic novel because it’s a story and it’s a story about how you teach manners or anything else that we want to teach our kids. It’s not a lecture. It doesn’t require charts in math. It can be written. I mean, all of these messages in their purest form a five-year-old can grasp.

How do I teach my kids to save? But as I played with this idea a little bit more, what I realized, Is again, because we don’t fully understand how much of it is just our relationship with money, that’s key and, and something that we should focus on first. So before saving, we should be thinking about the relationship.

So before saving, we should be thinking about the relationship.

And if we just focus on saving first, what happens is inadvertently what we’re teaching our kids. By not meaning to save, but the whole reason we’re teaching them to save is so they can buy something more expensive down the road.

I mean, that’s the core. Save this. So eventually you can, you know, buy this bigger toy or as they get older, pay for college or a car or a house, and it’s all this idea of saving so you can have more later. And then as adults, we feel the same way. So we’re constantly, even the people who are really good savers, they’re stuck in this feeling.

What am I gonna buy once I save enough? And so we’re always in this position of feeling like we don’t have what we want. We see it in front of us. We have this feeling of lack. We’re striving for more, we’re saving for it. And then once we get that, we save for the next thing, and then we save for the next thing.

So there’s just this endless saving for more. And so it’s not so much that saving in itself is bad. It’s that when we teach them, we’re not teaching them the full lesson. And the full lesson would be why are you saving? And if it’s just to buy more, you’ll never save. I try to flip it with let’s teach first the why and teach about that relationship with money and then, the saving can come once you know why you’re even saving.

In the correct order. Because what happens, as I said, if we don’t ask that piece, then there’s never enough and there’s always just saving for more and more and more. But if we start with that piece, rather than teaching our kids to save as our first lesson, Why would they wanna spend that money in the first place?

What’s important to them? What do they wanna spend it on? What do they want? And not only want what brings them joy, but they want everything. But once they start reflecting, like, you, you, you nailed it. When you talk about mindfulness, once we start reflecting on things and sitting on them, we start realizing how.

We just buy out a habit or because the next thing to do or buy rather than it’s something that brings us joy. And what’s neat, so you mentioned you’re gonna mention a bit in the title about the awesome stuff and that’s really what I get excited about because the awesome stuff, even a five-year-old gets that the awesome stuff is what brings you joy, and lights you up.

And the more you sit on it, the more you start reflecting on what is important, and what isn’t. So then with little kids, rather than saying, save that money, put it away, and we’ll buy something bigger later when they’re looking at something, you can start asking them, is that your awesome stuff?

And you’ll see even, even these five-year-olds, they’ll hold it in their hands. They’ll look at it, they’ll contemplate it. It’s that whole mindfulness you mentioned and then making a decision. And as parents, we know they’re not gonna always make the decisions we want them to make. Their awesome stuff is going to be different than our awesome stuff, but that doesn’t matter.

It’s the fact that they reflected on it and thought. Oh, do I, do I want this ice cream or is it just, I’m just in the habit of just asking for stuff and wanting anything? I see. And, they’ll make that decision. Some will say, no, I’d rather have this, or I’d save, or, that’s not that important.

Some will go after that and realize this is more important. It’s, but it’s that mindfulness and that Paus. Because of that habit, if we think of ourselves as adults, we fall into the same habit. Seeing something and just feeling like, I wanna buy it. I wanna buy it. I wanna buy it. Rather than what, what is important to you?

What, are some of the things you’ve spent money on that have brought you that joy? What’s your awesome stuff? And it’s, and it’s really fun sitting on that because I found as well, usually what we think is our awesome stuff. Isn’t necessarily what we thought it was. And when we do realize what our awesome stuff is, that’s probably not where we’re spending our money.

So what are the criteria for awesome stuff? Like if I’m in the store and I’m holding something, how do I know if it’s my awesome stuff?

So that’s a great question. And that’s the same question the boy comes up with within the story. I mean, he’s thinking everything he buys is awesome. I mean, why would he buy anything that wasn’t? But we, most of what we buy isn’t awesome stuff, the awesome stuff. It’s all relatives. 

So there’s always, you know, I’m sure you could think about even if you look around your room right now, there are one or two things that bring you joy. And I’ve always bought you joy and just you. And every time you see it, you feel excited, you feel happy. And even your whole body language will change.

If I start asking about it, like, tell me about that book, or tell me about, you know, what’s this, you know, heirloom you got from your travels or whatever it is. And you’ll see people’s whole expression change when they talk about it. And then there’s everything else that fills up our rooms where we don’t even, like, we haven’t even glanced at it or thought about it or remembered it. 

We purchased it and it just made its way on a shelf or under a bed or into a closet and got forgotten. So back to what you’re mentioning with mindfulness, it’s just starting to get used to that idea of. What are the few things that bring me joy? And that’s the high-level mark. or sorry, the high water mark. So then when you look at things, is this gonna make me ha as happy as X? So before saving, we should be thinking about the relationship. And if we just focus on saving first, what happens is inadvertently what we’re teaching our kids.

Why You Shouldn't Teach Your Kids to Save Money: Learn About "The Awesome Stuff" with David Delisle

By not meaning to save, but the whole reason we’re teaching them to save is so they can buy something more expensive down the road.

So then when he is looking at something else like he sees a toy car or box of Lego or something else, the question he asks himself does I love, like, will I love this as much as I love my fish? And even a young child can get that and that’s what’s neat because then they’ll, they’ll make that decision and there’s no judgment.

It doesn’t matter what the decision is. That’s where we as parents have to let some of that go. It’s that they reflected on what’s important to them. And what their awesome stuff is. And, for everyone it’s, it’s different. I mean, one for me is travel.  like, it doesn’t have to be a thing.

It’s experienced and traveling with the family. There’s, there’s very rarely a time where that wasn’t money well spent and for me and that I, that I get excited about. So that’s my awesome stuff. So then when I’m looking at anything else, if I hold it up under that light, will I get as much joy as I do? Traveling with my family. It puts perspective. Well, and that’s, that’s what it’s supposed to do. 

Once you start feeling that you feel your body shift and get excited. That’s what money should be. It shouldn’t be this feeling of what do I want? I don’t have it, and I feel just ugh, it should be something we’re excited about and that’s sort of, once that’s the first step, then we can get into saving the habits, how to make more, all these other things. But even that usually doesn’t require math, it’s just habits. 

So that’s the unfortunate part, because of all this going on with Covid and supply chain issues, everything’s delayed. So the book’s fully written, it’s ready, it’s with the printer. We’re looking at it probably coming out. Early, 2022. So, okay. I think we’re looking at maybe a March, or April official release. I’m hoping fingers crossed. It gets to the distributor even earlier, but again, everything’s, everything’s backed up.

But it’s, but it is coming soon and, you can, or pre-order it now. I’ve also started doing some fun readings with it as well, live readings, and people sort of finding other ways that people can start accessing the book and the material and information. Before we get the hardcover in everyone’s hands.

Where can people find the information and also preorder the book? 

Yeah, so the book is called The Golden Quest. The website is awesome stuff.com. Awesome. That’ll be easy to remember. Easy to remember. And that’s where the whole thing’s built around is this idea of the awesome stuff.

And only buy the awesome stuff. And as you said, that’s the flip, that’s the flip that I, I’m trying to create. 

And that’s, so that’s the first lesson in the book. And then from there, it starts building into habits. But what I found is that it’s so much easier. Sort of having those habits, as we all know about, you know, saving and compound interest, at least at a very, you know, surface level.

But sticking to those habits, it’s hard, especially if we haven’t thought about the why. If the reason is just, you know, for that handbag or that car that watches, then it doesn’t get us excited. It’s a little trickier, but if that is why, oh, I want to, you know, take a month off with my children.

Something along those lines makes it a lot easier when you know what that is. To get into those healthy habits, and so that’s why that’s the first step. And so back to saving. If saving doesn’t have that first key step, then what happens is saving is just, we get very good at saving, but we never have enough and we’re never happy.

Then what happens? Doing that takes away from actually enjoying those things. So the whole idea is trying to just sit on like, this is what I want. So as you mentioned, even thinking about the Reno in the house, if you go a step further, not just the physical elements of it, but what about the house makes it your awesome stuff?

What do you, what are your fond memories of the house? What makes you? Get lit up, but excited and, and I’m sure you can start, you’re, you’re picturing in your mind some moments with, you know, the family, maybe running a fireplace or on the patio having dinner and all these things. And as you start realizing that’s what the awesome stuff is to you, it’s not the patio.

It’s those moments, then you start focusing on how you create those moments rather than just keep building on the house. That’s true, and you can still do both. It’s just, yeah, it’s. Pause it and sit in it a little bit because otherwise, like I don’t, I don’t wanna be the person to tell you, but your house will never. It’ll never get where you want it to be. But it does. There’s another house down the road. on a better piece of land that’s probably, Would be the next thing. 

For me, as you’re describing what they make, I just wanna make sure I have this right. A key element of this is, profit itself is built into your budget. And yes, and, and I would highly agree with something like that. I mean, as entrepreneurs, it’s way too easy for us to just run so tight and put everything into the business.

And there’s never anything there. And so the same thing, to saving, I recommend saving first as well. Because once you do. , the rest does fall into place. Like we’re very good at managing what we have, and also spending what we have. So if we don’t force that somehow, It will go somewhere else.

So if I think of any of your projects, your clients, or things, if you don’t force yourself to pay yourself what you are worth for that time or the profit you want to generate, you’ll find somewhere else to spend it. Yes. It could be marketing, it could be, oh, we’ve got a little bit more margin, so we could do a little bit more here than I thought we could.

Maybe splurge herewith. Whatever new software that we don’t need, but want, it is so easy and it’s just, it’s human nature. And, and that’s the thing is when I, when I talk about habits being a big part of it, habits is, habits are what makes all this happen.

And we can’t force it without good habits. I mean, trying to think that you’ll, you’ll magically find that profit eventually if it doesn’t get built in as a habit is. It’s almost impossible. It takes a lot. Very strong willpower and very few people. That is their strength. 

Well if you’re finding that works, I’d highly recommend applying that same strategy toward your savings. Because of the savings, once that habit starts building up, we all hear about compound interest. But we don’t realize how fast that grows because when we’re watching it closely when it first starts, it isn’t growing that fast.

It grows faster and faster over time, and we always feel like we have more time, but that starting early and getting the ball rolling and getting that happening is so important, and it’s a habit. And it’s the same thing when you first, like if I told you right now, at the end of your month, Cut 20% or cut 10% and save it, it would be almost impossible.

You would feel, you would feel that pain. But if you started getting the habit of that just right off your paycheck from the very beginning, it was gone. You didn’t, didn’t even see it and it was put away, it would take very little time for you to get used to spending what you have. And not even realizing that’s happening. 

And so yeah, apply that same strategy to saving for sure. Well, and when we talked just real quickly when we talked to the very beginning about math, we thought about math and then we thought about budgeting and we thought about figuring out all our expenses and coming up with a little budget.

Nobody likes that. It sucks. It’s boring and it never works, and that’s why thinking about money is so painful, whereas paying yourself first, this idea of the, you know, save first, put it away. Don’t worry about the budget, you’ll automatically spend what you have.  And people are pretty good at working within that.

That the budgeting solution is to save first. And then everything else can come after that. And, and we’ll, and we’ll spend less. I mean, it’s very easy for people to think about it, okay? Think about yourself five years ago when you were making a little less. What did you buy? Like, how did you survive when you’re making less? And you don’t even know what you’ve spent the new things on, but as soon as you have more money to spend. You spent it. 

I’ve got a blog on there where I talk about, some of the recent podcasts. Right now I’m just sort of building that, that side of things up and getting out and talking to people about it. And I’ve been focused on the production and because of Covid, I haven’t really. 

Creating a book tour, but yes, everything will, will be there. As we start getting some, upcoming events, I love getting in front of the kids and talking to them. it is so fun, especially because of most of the stuff that I focus on, the first step is a mindset. 

And for young kids, they don’t have the same sort of beliefs that we do because they’re, they haven’t, they haven’t been taught these things. So they, they get it so quickly and, and it’s so fun to see how it just makes sense to them. Yeah. Because they’ve never known any different. 

Yeah. No, it’s, it’s so fun. And, seeing what the kids notice as well is cool. Because they notice different things or they’ll start zooming in Right on like, photos or, or pictures. Like, I know there’s a scene with a little dog and he jumps up and the boy jumps up and the boy has a little shadow under him, but the dog doesn’t, the kids are like Shadow what’s going on and they pick up on these little minutiae.

Which is cool because it just shows that they’re engaged and then they ask, and then some of their questions like, why did the boy do that? Or why was he asking this question? Or, that doesn’t make sense. And it’s, it’s just so fun. So fun to see. 

Well, thank you so much, Amanda. And, yeah, next time you’re doing those rentals, just, sit on it a bit and, and realize why, what, what am I getting out of this? And then have those little celebrations with the family and relish in that.  

That’s perfect. I love it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, David, looking forward to the book. Yes. I’m excited to get that out there too. And, yes,  it was so fun talking to you today, Amanda. You too. Thank you. Great. Thanks

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