Dad, I want a Fingerling for Christmas!

As Christmas is fast approaching, we’re hearing a lot about these little monkeys flying off the shelves. If you’re lucky, maybe you can snatch one for your kids. Just look at them! Blow them a kiss and they’ll kiss you right back! — so cute, right? It’s no wonder why they’re selling out so fast!

If you can’t get your hand on a Fingerling this year, consider giving them this other awesome gift for Christmas. Believe it or not, they will thank you! They may not thank you today, but when they become adults, they will tell you it was the best gift ever from mommy and daddy.

Are you ready to hear what it is?

A handmade scrapbook filled with money lessons for your kids!

Okay, if you’re not a crafty person, that’s fine. You can still provide them with solid lessons with or without the scrapbook. I just thought I’d add “scrapbook” to make it more personal and fun.

And okay… I was joking about giving them this as their Christmas present (sorta).

But all jokes aside, this is something I encourage parents to keep giving and teaching regardless of the time of year.

Today I decided to write this post because thinking back to my childhood years, I really – and I mean REALLY – wished my parents taught me a thing or two about money. Growing up with Asian parents, the below was the type of advice I’d get (and I was actually naive enough to believe them).

Hear what my daddy used to tell me all the time:

–  Get into a top University

–  Achieve high marks

–  Get hired by top companies

–  Work your way up

“…And BAM! You’ll be rich and set for life!”

Though it’s important to achieve all of those, my parents never taught me anything related to personal finance.

Their mentality was: the more money you make, the richer you’ll become, so life should be good.

I have to say that this equation is oh-so-very flawed. Dad, please forgive me for saying this. Just know that I still love ya!

With that said, here are three things you can consider teaching your kids while they’re still very young. Many don’t realise this, but time is one of their greatest assets!

I only discovered most of this at age 24, but I wish my parents told me about these things when I was 8 (okay, maybe 17 would’ve been fine too).

Start side hustlin’

Despite being 10 or 19, it’s never too early or too late to teach them about earning their own money. Whether it’s doing chores, working at McDonald’s, or tutoring other students, they will learn how to appreciate their hard-earned money.

Let me tell you a true story.

In 2006, a 14-year-old girl browsed around her neighborhood for free furniture every day. She brought the items home to clean and fix so that she could sell for a profit. She did this for a few years and eventually made over six-figures, enough to buy her first home at age 15. They put the house under her mom’s name, but they will eventually switch it to the girl’s name once she turns 18.

I was trying to find a link to this article, but I couldn’t because this story goes back to 2006. I heard this on the news and that’s what inspired me to refurbish furniture. So, I’m not making this stuff up, guys!

Though buying your first home at age 15 may be a one-in-a-million type of story, it still shouldn’t stop you from teaching your kids to start working and earning — even if it’s as little as rewarding your 12-year-old to do the dishes.

Save some of that money

When kids (or should I say teenagers) are young, they spend their whole paycheck. I was one of them.

I remember buying Apple’s 3rd generation iPod with my paycheck from Best Buy. Adding to that, I even spent $80 on a case to protect it!

For goodness sake, I even used some of my OSAP (Ontario Student Assistant Program) money from my student loans, to buy a Canada Goose jacket back in 2008! Instead of saving, I was using borrowed money to consume!

So, whatever your kids earn from their side hustles, part-time jobs, or even extra money from scholarships and grants, it’s important to teach them about savings. It’s okay to spend on fun things, but advise them to save some so that they can start investing (my next point).

Invest it — money makes money!

Did you know that compound interest is an 11-year-old’s best friend? I know that you wouldn’t expect your kids to start investing at age 11, but take a look at what Warren Buffet did at this age!

This multi-billionaire bought his first stock when he was only 11 years old. Not only that, he started making and saving money when he was eight years old so that he could start investing! To learn more about his story and success, head over here.

My point is, the longer you wait to invest, the more money you’re losing. Although we don’t expect kids to start investing, I really, really, REALLY wished my parents taught me about investing and the concept of compounding interest. To be fair, it’s not because they did not want to teach me. It was more of the lack of knowledge from their end. I know that my parents love me to death, and had they known, I’m sure they would’ve taught me.

So now that you know, you can pass this lesson to your kids!

If you’re a parent and you’re not familiar with the concept of compound interest, don’t fret! You can take a look at this article that will teach you what $1 million looks like when your kids start investing at age 25 vs. when they start investing at age 35. This is also something you can consider doing if you haven’t started yet.

All I want to say here is, teach your kids about starting early. The earlier the better!


There you have it. Three simple lessons about money that you can start teaching your kids: earning, saving, and investing.

Ah, yes it’s Christmas and your kids may love you today for the Fingerling. But I promise they’ll love you even more tomorrow for your handmade scrapbook of money lessons. Or even just your guidance about personal finance.

So, what are you waiting for?  Start giving them the gift of money lessons today! It’s a gift that will keep giving them in the future. 😉

This guest post was contributed by — personal finance blog helping you save, earn, invest and build net worth.

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