How GravyStack Is Helping To Improve Financial Literacy For Kids

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Most parents hope their children enter adulthood with the grit, confidence, and perseverance to become successful and happy. While it seems that certain people are born with an entrepreneurial spark, environment and guidance play huge roles as well. Recently, I’ve struggled with how to create a framework for my children to be more entrepreneurial. Not that they have to be entrepreneurs, but I at least want them to understand the value that entrepreneurial thinking can create to set them up for success in life.

Fortunately, one of the companies I’m invested with was working with a company called GravyStack. I was guided to this Lifestyle Investor podcast, which featured GravyStack founder Scott Donald. I immediately was drawn to the messaging that you have to focus on helping kids understand value and how that ties into entrepreneurial thinking.

After listening, I went to the resources from the podcast on the GravyStack site. There I found some of the framework that I was looking to create for my own kids. Here are some of the key points and takeaways I learned in regards to setting kids up for success.

Provide Money Making Opportunities

When should your child get money? What seems like a simple question can be surprisingly complex. In my household, I’ve had to consider decisions I make regarding things like allowance and how it impacts a person’s relationship with money.

Aside from the occasional birthday or Christmas present, children should generally receive money when they can contribute or be rewarded for their efforts. When children feel entitled to money just for existing, ambition can take a hit. If they get enough money to cover their wants without doing work, why would they be motivated to look for additional opportunities? If your children want money to buy things, create avenues for them to earn it.

When I downloaded the kid-focused financial literacy app from their site, I noticed an interesting feature. Through the app, kids have the option to work “gigs” to earn and save real money. The free resources can give you a ton of ideas to get started. Using that as a starting point, my wife and I sat down and built out a bigger list of possible chores.

Get 12 inches of snow in one day? Your neighbors can book your tween to shovel their driveways and transfer funds upon completion. However, it’s also about your kids understanding the value of doing it and not just you setting everything up for them. It’s more of a “teach someone how to fish rather than fishing for them” concept.

Your child probably has chores around the house that are expected to be done regularly. This can be considered your child’s contribution to the household. In Donald’s book, he describes this as an expectation. In my case, it’s whatever is expected of my kids for being a “Hall.” But if there are extra chores that your kid understands can add value then you can offer them at a set price. You could create a standing offer to pay $5 for weeding the flower bed. Alternatively, you could pay $1 per load of laundry the child washes and folds.

Whatever financial apps you introduce to your children, make sure they’re safe and interactive. Also, it’s a bonus when children can quickly view the results of their effort. After all, watching real money grow is far more motivating than being told about a number in an invisible savings account.

Teach As You Go

There are quite a few financial processes that people likely won’t need to experience in their childhood. Honestly, how many ten year olds need to take out a car loan? But if you’re taking out a car loan, you can still introduce your child to the process in real time. That way, when the time comes for them to go through it themselves, it might not be as daunting. It works the same way for starting and running a business.

If you’re an entrepreneur yourself, you can discuss some operational aspects of your business as they arise. Your child might find it unbearably tedious, but they’re likely to still absorb information. Just getting that familiarity with the business world and how basic concepts work can give them the boost they need in the future.

The above is more for older kids. You can have them follow you and show them things, and they’ll learn a thing or two. But for younger kids—like mine who are 4, 7, and 10—it’s a bit harder. You’ll want to more actively explain why you make certain decisions.

For example, in GravyStack’s downloaded material, it gives a list of skills that younger children can be taught or you can demonstrate for them. I never really thought my actions of daily affirmations, goal setting, or reflections could make sense to young kids, but why not? These are basic skills of problem solving and survival that are necessary for a child to understand.

Many who want to start a business but don’t cite inexperience or a fear of failure as a reason for hesitating. If your children never watch someone face challenges and address areas to improve, it won’t set them up for success. Getting your children comfortable with adding value for others and demonstrating a unique range of skills may empower them to take the plunge in adulthood.

Don’t Push, But Give Them The Option

If your child has no interest in going into business for themselves in adulthood, that’s not a bad thing. People can be perfectly successful and professionally fulfilled as employees. My oldest has already said that she clearly does not want to be an entrepreneur, which is fine. I just want her to live a fulfilling life. Donald’s method with GravyStack attracted me because it wasn’t just about creating future entrepreneurs. It was more about creating financially competent children.

The gamification aspect of the app takes away the burden of trying to get creative. This is especially helpful for me because sometimes I struggle with being too serious when teaching kids lessons.

Whether it be this resource or another, I strongly encourage other parents to find ways to set the next generation up for success. We live in an ever-changing world with AI and constant innovation that will make it very hard for unprepared children to adapt. However, if you can show them the importance of continually learning, taking initiative, and creating value for others, they will have a foundation that can guide them throughout life.

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