How to Make Money More Interesting

by J. Money on Friday, January 29, 2016

einstein money

You know how everyone says that we need more financial education in schools, and if we had that everyone would spend less and save more and live out the rest of their lives happily ever after?

Well, I’m not a teacher, but if I were I would change the names of all courses from “how to manage your money” to “How to become a millionaire, son!”

And do you know why?

Because kids don’t care about managing their money and financial education. They care about GETTING money and having fun. Even though handling their finances better would obviously grant them all their wishes and more. (Which is why you sneak in the management lessons once you’ve gotten them through the door – BOOM!)

You then show them that it’s not about being a millionaire either, but rather achieving financial freedom so you don’t ever have to work again and can do whatever you want. Play video games, read, paint, rap battle, party, skateboard all day, chill at the mall (do kids still do that?), whatever turns you on.

Maybe that would be Professor J’s 2nd course in his How to Rock Your Money series. “How to Never Work For The Rest of Your Life!” :)

I’d change out other terms too:

  • Summer job –> Summer Hustle
  • Dividends –> Free Cash
  • Paycheck –> Make it Rain
  • Emergency fund –> Oh $hit Fund (kids love cursing)
  • Savings –> F U Money (see how fun this is??)
  • Paying taxes –> Hacking Taxes
  • Track your finances –> Automate Your Finances
  • Investing –> Blowing Up Your Wealth
  • Checkbook –> What Are Those?
  • Passive Income –> Get Money While You Sleep
  • Budgeting –> How Can I Spend More on Fun Stuff?
  • Retirement –> FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)
  • Compound interest –> Multiplying Your Money Without Lifting a Finger
  • And of course, Charity –> Love The Crap Out of People Because We’re All In This Together

To get a Joe Shmoe to pay attention to their money, and particularly an adolescent Joe Shmoe, you need to figure out what excites them inside. I don’t care if it’s chasing turtles or obsessing about their fantasy teams, or even being a master crocheter (those women are fierce, btw!).

In other words, you need to get them to care.

Once you focus on their lifestyles and put away the exhaustive “how to’s,” their guards come down just as fast as their iPhones. No one wakes up wanting to budget or plan for retirement – that sounds like WORK. You have to apply it to their own custom reality and engage them.

There’s a reason I slipped “sexy” in my blog name all those years ago, haha… Would you have ever clicked on BudgetingIsPrudent.com? I don’t think so. That’s lame. I had to get you to click first, and then after hook you with my clever financialness ;) That’s another option school administrators could look into too (Course III: “Get Money, Get Sex-y!”), but something tells me there would be one too many parent teacher conferences after that drops – hah.

Lastly, and most importantly, all the financial education in the world doesn’t mean jack if it doesn’t get you to take action.

Instead of hypothetical homework assignments, Professor J. would also force students to track their own money – even if it’s just allowances – build out their own systems, get accounts connected/started, and then put together their first net worth statements all while applying their new nuggets of information into the real world. Where they can see real world results and ask real world questions that – God forbid – actually pertains to them.

And they’ll all smile while doing it! (Because if not, straight F’s all around ;))

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing that I’m not a public school teacher, but one day it would be awesome if none of us needed these personal finance blogs anymore…

We’d all have our money on fleek!

****
PS: Your homework assignment this weekend: spend 15 minutes teaching a young person something about money. It could be anything you/they want, but come back here after and share in the comments!


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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian @DebtDiscipline January 29, 2016 at 6:32 am

It’s a question I use when talking with my three children about money “Hey how would you like to be a millionaire” It usually get their attentions. All about presentation. Sadly many school are not even teaching the boring side of money management. Something we need to change.

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2 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 7:16 am

True true… something is better than nothing, but a fun/COOL something explodes the lessons even further! Maybe we need to come up with our own school?

The University of Millionaires :)

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3 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar January 29, 2016 at 7:03 am

How to be a baller (but seriosuly, don’t waste your money on that crap).

Why would we want to teach our students about taxes? Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell!

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4 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 7:19 am

Hah! I think I need to go back to school because I had to google Mitochondria (and I still don’t know what it is??)

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5 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar January 29, 2016 at 10:36 am

It’s the powerhouse of the cell. C’mon man!

(curse words) http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/mitochondria-is-the-powerhouse-of-the-cell

They generate some of the energy used by cells. Don’t you have any worthless knowledge from high school?

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6 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I remember not having a personal finance class :)

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7 Thias @It Pays Dividends January 29, 2016 at 7:04 am

“Passive Income –> Get Money While You Sleep”

Ok – You have my attention now! :) Since I don’t believe I will be seeing any children besides my daughter this weekend, I plan to keep working with her to share her toys. Need to instill the giving mindset early, right?

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8 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 7:23 am

Damn, forgot Charity!

Charity –> Love The Crap Out of People Because We’re All In This Together

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9 Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com February 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm

I think that would get just about anyone’s attention – especially kids. It makes it sound so easy!

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10 Lindsay @ the Notorious D.E.B.T. January 29, 2016 at 7:19 am

How did you KNOW I have an Oh $hit fund?! And a #uck Renting Fund too (no hard feelings J – I like to do archery and you just can’t do that in an apartment complex)!

Budget -> Loot Plan :D

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11 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 7:24 am

Did you know you could rent houses with yards/barns/fields/lakes? It’s a new thing, you should look into it ;)

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12 Michael @ Simple-Natured.com February 3, 2016 at 2:47 pm

I know that feeling. I have to pay to go to an indoor range or travel to my girlfriend’s parents’ house to shoot my bow. I just want some place like where I grew up, surrounded by fields, so I can have a nice range of my own. Not to mention not having to hear everything my neighbors do.

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13 Roy Largo @ Band of Savers January 29, 2016 at 7:26 am

Kids need to be taught about finances in school, FACT! I had so many useless classes that I “learned” stuff that never helped me after getting out of the final exam and wish that they would have allowed me to have the opportunity to learn about personal finances instead, but it wasn’t even an option. In college I didn’t take a personal finance class until my last semester because I was so focused on getting out of school as quickly as possible, but I wish that I had taken it my first semester because it was probably the most important class that I took. I’m all for this curriculum reformation.

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14 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 7:35 am

It should def. be mandatory! Even if it sucks! Everyone has sex ed right? (Which is also mandatory thank goodness – and could also use an overhaul I’m sure, haha…)

I remember having to take a Home Ec class or something in high school that taught us balancing a check book, but other than trying to trick all my friends that the fake checks were real cuz I thought it was hilarious, I didn’t take away a thing. Again cuz it was all fake and not applied to my real life. I could have cared less about debits and credits but you start talking about being a millionaire or not having to work forever and you’d have had my attention like THAT.

And in college it would probably sink in even better, since most of us are dealing with money by that stage of our lives more. I couldn’t tell you if my alma mater had personal finance classes, but I know damn sure it wasn’t mandatory…

I could tell you all about Pavlov’s dogs though! ;)

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15 Millennial Money Man January 29, 2016 at 7:30 am

I still have kids that I taught email me financial questions pretty regularly, and it’s freaking awesome. Kids LOVE talking about money! They want to be rich like the rest of us.

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16 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:29 am

Smart kids!!

They obviously relate to you too which is key.

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17 superbien January 29, 2016 at 7:54 am

These are great ideas!

I’m in that weird spot where I kind of… Actually get money now. I didn’t at all, made mistakes, read PF blogs for years, had people smarter than me review my finances and catch big mistakesapplied lessons… And somewhere in that process, I learned stuff. Whoa.

The part I’m trying to figure out now is teaching. I have tried to distill the key points down for 3 young people in their 20s. The first one, my intern, was a new graduate, a fiance, and a dad. I felt some urgency, and I think I overwhelmed him.

The second was a co-worker who rocks at budgeting, but was out of her depth with retirement. I kept hers simple – here’s what an index fund is and why people recommend them, and here’s my analysis of our 401k funds’ fees (and what your goal for fees should be). That one seemed to go over better – either because it was just one topic and simple, or because she was already PF savvy in one area.

The third was a 30 year old niece who asked for help – I thought I was distilling things down, but she still got overwhelmed. I am trying to figure out how to break it down.

So right now My challenge is that I love this stuff and will happily mentor young people the way I wish someone had helped me, but how to make it super simple?

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18 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:41 am

yeah, that’s always tough not dumping your entire brain out for them because it excites us so much..

I’ve learned that just answering their questions as they come up and then biting my lip has helped them come back for more.

Or even just sharing the *results* more with people (“I have this friend who’s retired at 35 and travels the world now” , “Check out these people living in trailer parks and saving $2,000 every month!” etc). People get inquisitive after that and then ask “how” and THEN you hit them with it, but at least they’re ready to take it in and hopefully care…

Def. a tough balance, but good to keep working on :)

As for keeping things simple – you can always say “If there’s only one thing you do every single year, it’s ______” and then let them come back for more again later… That gives them one simple item to do and feel good knowing that they’re rocking it at least 80% good.

I usually insert “Max out 401k” or “Max out Roth IRA” so no matter what else they do they’ll have hundreds of thousands later in life :)
tiny homes and saving even though you – and they – know deep down they should be

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19 Steeb January 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

Went with my 18 year old college freshman son to my 70+ year old parent’s for supper last night. He got to listen in as I talked with mom about their finances (incoming pension payments enough to live on and still save for trips) and that they should be enjoying the money that they’ve saved over the years – it’s there to spend. Then on the drive home talked to him about his budgeting and how he’s going to have to earn xxx amount over the summer if he wants to be able to pay for sophomore year. Maybe seeing the future end results helps make the present planning easier.

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20 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:43 am

Yeah!!! Love!!!

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21 Tiffany January 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

“Lastly, and most importantly, all the financial education in the world doesn’t mean jack if it doesn’t get you to take action.”

^^This. You can give kids all the financial classes in the world, but that’s not going to mean they are going to magically become smarter or WANT to become smarter with finances. Or even put what they know into action. Most kids don’t care; they have mom and dad. I remember in college–this completely dumbfounded me. I would hear parents say, “I checked your checking account. You were low on money, so I deposited money for you.” I never got money from my parents. My parents never knew how much money I had. I had to put myself through college.

Until they get out on their own or something incredibly drastic happens, for the most part, it won’t click. I’ve watched it happen so many times in my family and it still is happening. And even then, it may not click. I read a story a while ago about a social worker who tried his best to get a family want they needed. He really had to work, and he got what he could for them. The dad then went out and bought a tv or stereo or something like that, because the dad thought the family deserved it due to all the hardness they had experienced throughout the year.

My parents are horrible with money. My mom’s advice mounted to, “You’re young. You have the money get it,” growing up. There was no F U fund. I taught myself a lot of what I know through Kiplinger’s, CNN Money, Wall Street Journal Money, Fortune, and whatever else I could get my hands on. (This was before financial blogs were big.) I didn’t have any personal finance type classes in school, but I did have accounting classes, business classes and a law class in high school. We did follow the stock market, do taxes, and other business type things. The base I learned in high school, although it was for business, gave me a good start. My thing was, though, I’ve never wanted to be like my parents. I don’t want those struggles. I did take out loans for school, of which I have one left (I paid two off early), but I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned and am still learning. My siblings, on the other hand, complete opposites.

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22 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:49 am

Oh man, I can’t even imagine..

And again why schools need to make this stuff RELEVANT and INTERESTING to kids! Even if you think you won’t care or do anything afterwards, it’ll have a much higher chance (in my non professional opinion, haha…) of at least STICKING with them for when the magical day comes that they DO care.

But I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want lots of money or to do stuff they enjoy for a living. It all has to be focused around that for better chance of people caring/taking action.

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23 Tiffany January 29, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Me. :) I don’t want a lot of money. I just want enough to live comfortably and not have any debt. That’s why I was hoping to win the Powerball. That could’ve lasted me a long time. ;)

My hope would be that if it is introduced and becomes a requirement, it would stick. I don’t like to see people suffer with things like debt. Some people come from backgrounds like mine that really don’t know what they’re getting themselves into and have no one to talk to about it. When you start adding in things like depression, it can go downhill a lot faster.

Until then, I have a goal of eventually hoping that I can create a scholarship for people in my situation. Family members didn’t go to college, so the person really doesn’t know what they’re in for, have to do everything on their own (like FAFSA), parents didn’t create a college fund for them,…they think college can offer a brighter future, but you take some bad financial steps starting out,…not pretty. And you’re in it for the long haul.

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24 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Having a lot of money will help dish out those scholarships too ;)

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25 Lise G January 29, 2016 at 8:43 am

Hey J., Another term anyone can use that I love which you can say in mixed company:

​Financial Independence: Drop Dead Money (as you can tell anyone to drop dead especially employers)

Cheers, Lise

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26 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:33 am

Yup!

Very similar to F U Money – only more courteous :)

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27 Lisa O January 29, 2016 at 9:08 am

Great words! I got inspired with them and I am 50! You are right about your blog name too….it caught my eye and I have been a reader every since. I could never find money “more interesting” …… as I told my children money isn’t everything but it is up there with oxygen :)

Have A Great Day!

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28 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:31 am

Haha… you know it!

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29 Mike @ TipYourself.com January 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

This sounds like my kind of school! Where do I sign up!!!

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30 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 9:31 am

Pay for the course first and you’re in :)

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31 Mike @ TipYourself.com January 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Can I pay from my Tip Jar?!? :)

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32 Dee @ Color Me Frugal January 29, 2016 at 9:30 am

Love it! I agree with you that kids love cursing, but I think a lot of parents don’t. Might have to leave that out to get a school to add you to their teaching roster!!

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33 Hannah January 29, 2016 at 9:58 am

Nice use of “On Fleek”

Probability that on fleek will be passe by the time Prof. J. Money’s course comes out, 100%

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34 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:45 pm

I’ve already been told it has been. #wompwomp

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35 Chuck January 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

Ha! I like the spin on the list. Heck, it got ME more interested and I’m already working on it. If this stuff had been presented to me in this format when I was a kid, I probably would be set already.

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36 Kristi @ Femme Frugality January 29, 2016 at 11:29 am

I think you’d make a fantastic teacher. Kids would flock to your classroom to have class with cool Mr. J Money. I know I would! It’s a shame more adults don’t take the time to teach their (or other) kids about money basics. Our world would definitely be a much different place if they did.

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37 Pengepugeren January 29, 2016 at 11:38 am

I’d definitely click on BudgetingIsPrudent.com

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38 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

You stop that…

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39 The Professor January 29, 2016 at 11:50 am

Right now I’m thinking I’m going to school my youngest daughter who happened to leave her winter coat behind somewhere yesterday. After I buy another one she will count the dollars out of her bank account to pay for it…..arrrgh. I swear if scientists are ever able to send astronauts through the black hole in space they will find all the clothes, etc..that kids seem to lose…and maybe a few adult car keys too.

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40 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

hah!

I just heard of some button you can put on your keys where you can use an app to track it and make it beep when you need help finding it in your house :) Pretty clever!

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41 The Professor January 31, 2016 at 10:56 am

Younger daughter saved some money. I tracked her coat down to the public library where we were taking out some free books and DVD’s. Love the local library.

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42 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:19 pm

BOOM!

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43 ThePersonalEconomist February 3, 2016 at 3:56 am

Oh J, I wish you were my teacher at school!

Glad I’m not the only one that makes my kids pay for lost school clothes. Lost sunhats are their speciality. Tough love I say!

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44 Ryan January 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm

I’m a Personal Finance teacher in high school. Unfortunately, my class is not required, but I’ve managed to make it fun enough for the kids to recommend it to others. It took me 2 years to double the number of kids taking the class and now it’s all I teach. Now, I try to limit the number of underclassmen taking the class and get as many 11th and 12th graders in it as possible. I have several kids a year tell me that my class should be required to graduate. And if you asked each of them is it should be required, I’m sure most would agree. It’s one thing when grown adults like us agree that a class should be mandatory, but when a 16-18 year old student takes it upon themselves to tell me that it should be required, THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES to me about the value of what I teach.

I do plan on using some of your new terms in my curriculum. I’m making notes. And if I have time, I may be incorporating your compound interest links from this post into my curriculum next week for my compound interest lessons. My students do a lot of reading articles and blog posts in my class. I’m a new reader here so none of your posts have made it in yet. But with a name like “Budgets Are Sexy,” how can I not include something eventually?

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45 The Professor January 31, 2016 at 11:03 am

Ryan,
I think what you are doing is great. Good to see that your high school has a smart enough vision to let you teach a class like this. Especially with the core curriculum these days and every kid needs to go to college mantra.
As a former teacher that taught a lot of computer application classes I used to try and weave in a finance lesson here or there.
For instance, when teaching excel we would look at loan calculators and use that to lead into talking about purchasing a car, interest rates, terms, etc.
We would also have the kids develop a budget for if they were living on their own. It was an eye opener for a lot of them and a fun project at the same time.

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46 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Rock on, Ryan – so glad to hear! We need to now duplicate you (or at least your course template) and pass it around all the other schools now. At least once you get those links to Budgets Are Sexy in it to really make it shine ;)

Thanks so much for jumping in and adding to the convo. Very nice to e-meet you, brotha.

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47 Sylvia @ Miss PF January 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm

I’m a teacher and am excited to implement something like this in my personal finance unit later this year! :)

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48 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Oh please tell me you can make it a reality!

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49 Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes January 29, 2016 at 2:58 pm

I think part of the problem is that kids have no real need to manage money. We can’t blame it all on the schools. In our society, parents tend to do all of the managing and providing of money….and our kids get everything they could possibly need. When was the last time they had any money management consequences?

For me, it wasn’t until I had a pretty severe brush with poverty that I got serious about money. When managing your money well means having enough to eat this week, you tend to pay a bit more attention.

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50 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Yeah, maybe for your necessities, but I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t want something more than their parents are willing to give them :) The wealthy kids want fancier stuff, and the poor kids want modest stuff. But they always want something! And my hope would be that teaching them how to get it through $$$ management would light their eyes on up.

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51 Elise@ Uphill To Easy Street January 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

I know 17 year old me would have been front row in your class! I loved making money (I had thousands in the bank from work as a child actor) and I loved spending money (I blew it all by the time I was 21). Maybe that should be next on your bucket list. I know I could recommend a few kiddos to take your class :)

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52 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Were you in anything we would know?? That’s so cooL!! :)

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53 Prudence Debtfree January 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

“Would you have ever clicked on BudgetingIsPrudent.com? I don’t think so.” Oh no! Did I make a mistake in choosing “Prudence Debtfree” as my name? (It’s got that “Prudent” thing in there.) Maybe it should have been “Hot Money Mama” or “$exy Debtfree”? But I just couldn’t do that. Especially since I AM a teacher. What would my students say? I will pass your curriculum unit title suggestions to my principal and let you know if it’s a go : )

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54 J. Money January 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hahaha….

You were supposed to avert your eyes on this one :)

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55 Deena January 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

I love this! I just recently found your blog and now visit it every day. The other financial blogs I was following were lacking, um, anything tangible you could say. So pumped about your blog I went to work and told everyone about it!

I remember one of the best classes I took in high school was a business course, but it taught me a little bit about personal finances as well. That’s were I learned how to write a check and balance a checkbook. It may have been what started my fascination with money and personal finance in general. Start with the kids, they are our future after all. :)

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56 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Hey, thanks Deena! We try to have a good time here, so welcome to the party :)

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57 Stockbeard January 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm

The problem is that the people with the proper skills to teach relevant stuff about personal finance are all retired already :)

Where would you find the teachers???

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58 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Hah – then let’s bring them out of retirement!

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59 Kati January 29, 2016 at 4:04 pm

I’m interested in what your hypothetical friend decided about taking a loan from their hypothetical parents!

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60 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:30 pm

My hypothetical friend tells me he’s still thinking about it, but leaning towards politely refusing that beautiful offer and slowly filling ‘er back up himself. I told him I need an answer soon so I can update everyone though :)

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61 Formative Fortunes January 29, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Kids would definitely be more interested in learning about money if it were interesting like this! Lol the ‘sexy’ in budgetsaresexy definitely brings in young 18 yr olds like myself!

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62 Ashley January 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm

So I have to be contrary here. Kids can totally love learning about money management. There is a organization where I grew up that made learning about personal finance super fun for kids. In the 5th grade (Enterprise Village) and 8th grade (Finance Park) you have an in-class unit then you go on an full-day simulation. It’s school sponsored dress -up but with an important less.

It’s basically teaching kids where their money’s going to come from and how to not spend like an idiot. I’ve long said every kid in the country should go.

http://www.stavrosinstitute.org/enterprise-village
http://www.stavrosinstitute.org/finance-park

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63 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Rock on! Why aren’t other schools copying these guys??? Sounds genius!

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64 JT January 29, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Yes that would be an awesome high school class!

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65 Mr Zombie January 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I think we did some real basic personal finance in school way back in the day. You are bang on, it was presented in such a boring and adult way that is just didn’t click.

It was presented as the sensible thing to do…at an age when you are fired up and rebelling against everything. Switching from this is what a good citizen does to this will help you to be wealthier would make the message stick (although might encourage a generation of selfish arse heads! :)

budgetsaresensible.com ?
budgetsaresquare.com ?
budgetsaresafe.com ?
budgetsareriskaverse.com ?
budgetsaresmashing.com ?
budgetsareshrewd.com ?
budgetsaresexy.com ?

I know which one I’d click

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66 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:32 pm

haha… Budgets Are Safe, right?

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67 Marko Zupanic January 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

We need more knowledge about the money, this is the fact. School system is pretty bad on that way, so we need some changes ;)
First of all, I need to find some kids, then I can teach them something :P

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68 April January 29, 2016 at 7:03 pm

When I was in Jr high, we had an extra credit weekend class where we got to pick a career and house and family and pay the bills by writing checks. It was really fun… but I was a nerd then too. :)

When I was in high school, I failed “Advanced Algebra/Trig” (come on now, invisible numbers? wtf?) so in order to get a math credit, the next year I took “Consumer’s Math.” Which was informally “stupid kid/slacker math.” I didn’t actually need to learn how to do any of it since my parents did a fantastic job of financial education at home, but it would be beneficial to many.

I am a teacher, so I see why there really isn’t a lot of extra time to add more requirements, but there should be a shift of requirements. There is so much unneeded (to me) stuff that people think should be important to 16 yr olds. I wonder if there are any schools out there that have a “money club” to teach some of these concepts? That would be awesome!

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69 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Yeah it would! Again, cuz every kid would love nothing more than more money in their pockets! People should be lining up around the school to join one!

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70 Frugal Turtle January 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm

I had a business class in high school that taught us how to do taxes, and I remember we had to pick some stocks and follow them for a month. I think I lost some of that fake money…
Anyways, looking back, I think I had the attitude that I would never need to know how to do this stuff. That there would always be someone that would do it for me. Boy, was I wrong! Twenty years later here I am checking my investment accounts almost every day, and excitedly waiting for all my tax forms to arrive in the mail so I can spend an evening figuring out how much money I can get back. How times have changed!

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71 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:40 pm

I actually hate that stock market exercise in school.. a) It doesn’t have anything to do with personal finance, just investing, and b) it’s the WORST WAY to invest! You can’t play the stock market for a month or three months – It’s all about the *long term* play with that stuff. And most people’s nest eggs aren’t even in single stocks – they’re in mutual and index funds.

I get that they’re trying to get kids interested in it, and I’m sure it does – similar to my own antics here – but I’m just praying they go over the REAL point of it all and explain that it’s all about investing for the long haul and not short.

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72 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank January 30, 2016 at 4:07 pm

That is why I am exposing my kids to something that can make him realize that he can easily become a millionaire someday. It’s about giving our kids the right environment so that it’s not all fun and managing money at all.

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73 J. Miller January 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm

This is hilarious. I would have loved to have taken this class. One of the best parts of being a parent is teaching the kids about money. It’s kind of amazing how much they understand and just get. It’s like so many things in life that the bad behavior is learned.

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74 Mortimer January 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm

LOVE IT. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about talking to my kids about saving for freedom, and I totally dig your suggestions. And why personal sexy finance isn’t taught in high school (or middle school, for that matter) is beyond me. I have this dream of reaching a point where I’ll have time to teach such a course part time for high schoolers, because what 16 year old doesn’t want to learn how to say F U to the MAN and screw around all day? I sure wish someone had taught me about financial freedom way back when.

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75 amber tree January 31, 2016 at 9:49 am

This is a great idea. I look forward to read some more ideas and real life stories on how to make finance interesting for kids. We plan to start paying a weekly allowance to our daughter this or next year. But how do we get her to safe half of it? she might as well blow it all in one go on candy…

AT

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76 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Hah! You can always pull the “cuz mom and dad said so” card :)

A friend just told me today that his wife’s parents made her set aside X% of all earnings into savings and then another X% for philanthropy and then she was able to blow the rest however she wanted… It was all she ever knew so now she saves like crazy! And has been for the past 20 years since it’s so easy for her!

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77 weenie January 31, 2016 at 11:55 am

Nice spin on the list, J$!

When I first came across this website a couple of years ago, my initial thought had been “Budgets are so NOT sexy” – you proved me wrong! :-)

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78 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:43 pm

SCORE!

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79 NDQ January 31, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Great list. At least it makes it more interesting.

NDQ

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80 Tracy@Financial Nirvana Mama January 31, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Excellent list! Something that has helped me and I am teaching my kids is gamifying money. My economics teacher held a competition on investing in stocks, we all started with 100k in sim money. That game changed my world. I was the biggest loser in that game, But it was great seeing others succeed – making a lot of money and winning the game. Long story short, my girls play games to understand the value of money including making free money on the ipad (not stocks;).

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81 J. Money January 31, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Ack! I’m glad it excited you enough to carry it on further, but those game always make me cringe since I feel like it encourages *short* term investing (and risky ones at that) vs the long term – more boring (index/mutual funds) investing route. Then again, I guess that’s not as exciting to kids so maybe they’re employing my “grab their attention first and then hit them with the real knowledge” route? If only I can enroll in one of them and infiltrate ;)

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82 Laura Beth February 1, 2016 at 5:22 am

I couldn’t agree more. The young kids don’t care much about financial literacy, side hustles, saving, etc. At least, not my own anyway. I took a lot of finance courses both in high school and in college and it did very little to prepare me for the real world. I think PF blogs are filling that void. I just hope young people are tuning in for the FUN!

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83 Emily February 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Love those name changes! I think we might get more adults interested in finance by using more creative terms, as well.

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84 Chris "Stasher" February 1, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Hell ya man!
Enough inviting bankers into the schools to chat about bank accounts and brainwash them into the typical banking system. I remember Cait talking about how she did a presentation to some high school kids , we need more of that. Heck you should see if you there is a side hustle opportunity for you locally.

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85 J. Money February 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Oh yeah – always more fun learning from someone not wearing a suit ;)

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86 John February 1, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Financial independence is so much better of a goal than “just” saving a million (or two, or five) bucks. When you set a monetary goal, it’s great to reach it, but then what? Another $XX dollars. I don’t know…..it just doesn’t have the same level of excitement. But FI is a lifestyle. It (hopefully) doesn’t end…..until you do!

It’s not just a goal that is met…..it’s a never ending enjoyment of life!

Thanks for the post, J.

John

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87 J. Money February 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

YES! Most def!

And exactly why people get greedy and can never be happy no matter how much they get – there’s no real *point* in the end. With FI once you reach it you’re there and – I presume – can be happy enjoying life over constantly trying to make more $$$.

Hopefully I’ll be able to let you know how that feels one day :)

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88 Free to Pursue February 2, 2016 at 10:03 am

That’s why I call it financial illiteracy. What’s done in school invites kids to think of money the way society at large wants us to think about money: debt is good and a normal part of life and we need to have a relationship with a lender. Not so! A school’s curriculum should never be devised by corporations who stand to benefit from establishing a given perception in the minds of kids. Much better for it to come from an independent party (such as yourself :) who can tell it like it is and teach where the real opportunities and ultimate freedom lies.

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89 Financial Samurai February 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

My favorite is simply the FU Money. But I also like the ARMAGEDDON FUND, which is the fund consisting of risk free assets like CDs and stuff.

Money definitely gets more interesting when put a label!

S

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90 Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree February 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

So true! Learning about money management is boring but so important. There is a local comedian Colin Ryan who travels around to school talking about money management stuff but since he is a comedian it is truly entertaining while still being informative. I certainly wish I had learned this stuff when I was in school.

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91 J. Money February 3, 2016 at 8:10 am

Yeah! I was just tweeting with that guy the other week… Awesome dude for sure.

Here’s his site fyi if anyone’s interested: http://www.colinryanspeaks.com/

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92 Brittney @ Britt & the Benjamins February 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm

I think this pertains to everyone – young AND old(er). Thanks for the reminder!

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93 George A March 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

You made me smile, thank you… and you are sooooo right. No one teaches us about money in school (and many times, not at home either), so we learn through play. We make lots of mistakes in the process. Such subjects would be incredible at school. You have my vote. =)

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