Children, financial literacy and the Four Money Bears life lessons
We are in the car pulling through a drive-in window. He looks solemnly at me and says: “My mom gets the money from the machine and then, she buys me what I want, like Lego people.” His face lights up in anticipation. He is only 4 years old yet has already figured out he can acquire “things!” He has no idea that the money machine is not endless!
Children are incredibly intelligent. We have yet to fully comprehend how magnificently they process information, and more importantly how they retain what they learn.
Their spoken dialogue may be limited; they may not even yet know how to read, but they have prodigious memories with almost instant fact recall of every single utterance we pronounce.
Not only do our precious children absorb all information, they love to repeat it – often at the most inopportune times. Who has not been at a gathering when some innocent drops “an embarrassing bomb of a personal family incident” into a conversation.
Extremely early on, so attuned to every non-verbal nuance that we project, children instinctively learn how to become master manipulators of their adult relatives. This subtle coercion plays out in predictable routines where if they want something, whine long and loud enough, it will provoke an adult response, but, not always a positive outcome, particularly when budgets are tight.
This is where parental influence and encouragement comes into play. Money and the means to acquire it is a large part of every individual and family’s experience. Understanding what it is, how to acquire it, what it can do for you and as good deeds for others, how not to have it control one’s life, but used as a means to fulfilment, good work ethics, heightened self-esteem, and future security can be taught subliminally and explicitly at a very early age.
The Four Money Bears Story is a fascinating approach to teaching your children from five to ten about money, while self-admittedly, parents learn, too. Currently, the Four Money Bears are featured in a book, Intro videos, speaking tours, digital applications, and most recently, an NFT (non-fungible token) auction of the Four Money Bears as interest has accelerated. Find out more at their website, http://www.thefourmoneybears.com/.
A sample dialogue:
Join Spender Bear, Saver Bear, Investor Bear, and Giver Bear as they teach us ways to use money. When they work together, they learn to build a Budget and Teach each other how to better manage their money today and for the future. Children can create Bear Bucks to manage their budget and other financial matters.
Spender Bear states – Spend cautiously. “We all have to spend money to get things we need. If we spend less, we will always have money left over.”
Saver Bear says that “Saving is easy to do. If we can save a little bit of our allowance we can fill up our piggy bank.”
Meet Mac Gardner, CFP, the innovator of this unique approach to learning about finance. His passion for financial literacy for children led him to schools reading his book, partnering with organisations that could assist and promote the concept, digitally on a platform that can be used at home, at schools, educators, professionals while teaching, analysing, and helping the child to grow with the programme.
In excerpts from his interview with FPA, the US Financial Planning Association, Mac Gardner CFP is the founder and chief education officer, FinLit Tech and a Certified Financial Planner in Florida. He has spent the greater part of his professional life working with thousands of clients, assisting them in managing their finances. He became passionate about promoting financial literacy when he realised that even though people wanted to plan for the future, many did not have a basic understanding of how finances worked.
His first book, Motivate Your Money! developed his own philosophy of “Mac Nuggets” with the five steps to financial success: plan, spend, save, invest, and give generously.
And then, he authored the Four Money Bears and the rest is history.
His passionate ideas have taken him into the applications behind addressing financial literacy for children, resulting in an alliance with eMoney and Synapse where he launched an innovative challenge to create a digital platform for kids. See his illuminating interview, view Join the Contest – Synapse Challenge on the Four Money Bears website. His passion and purpose to help people with their finances simply shine throughout the discourse.
Recently featured in Bloomberg, Mac Gardner has formed a FinLit company to continue to carry this message of financial awareness (see its website at https://finlittech.com/). Its mission states that we work to build a bridge between financial literacy and financial technology. Financial literacy (finlit) educational resources are needed today more than ever before. Financial technology (fintech) continues to impact our lives and bring new tools to improve our society. By combining finlit and fintech we have "finlit tech". They create the tools and resources to bring financial knowledge to more people across the world. They have partnered with eMoney Advisor, LLC to develop their Financial Education & Wellness platform.
Remember and read carefully about this amazing certified financial planner, Mac Gardner, CFP! You will be hearing more of him and his caring, innovative ideas into the future.
Disclaimer: Martha Harris Myron has no connection, financial or otherwise to Mac Gardner or The Four Money Bears, except for the passion of promoting financial literacy at all ages.
My Career Path: Featuring Mac Gardner MAY 2021 FPA Financial Planning Associations
Financial Literacy for Kids – Synapse Challenge. Sponsored by eMoney, USF Muma College of Business Certified Financial Planners Program, Finbod
Martha Harris Myron, a native Bermudian with US connections, is a qualified international cross-border financial planner, the author of The Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Primers, a Google News Contributor since 2016, international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Bermuda Ltd., and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette. Contact: email@example.com