A recent Newsweek article reported that science is jumping on board to study and reveal the issue of how we use our resources. It’s fairly commonsense that we are going to operate in the mode that we’ve been trained, and for decades we have been exposed to strong messages of immediate gratification. We are told that we “Need” all kinds of stuff to make our lives normal, happy, even fulfilling. Humanity is up against a powerful corporate influence that is driving our economy and ultimately creating false realities of consumption.
In our own subtle way, the Money Academy message is busting this reality for young people, setting their brains on a trajectory for wealth building. The article points out that we have to “rewire the brain to find pleasure in future rewards.”
If our reality from a young age is that money is a tool that we can use in multiple ways (Spending, Earning, Giving), the choices we make with our money dramatically change. It’s imperative that the brain be wired for this from the start. Probably the most influential conversation about this in Money Academy is when we address the issue of what contribution the kids want to make in the world. Kids are naturally altruistic and we tap into that emotion, we create an incentive to build wealth. We ask them what difference or what contribution would they make if they had money to donate. The conversation for philanthropy is what motivates them. Building wealth will give them the opportunity to make a difference. We quote Spiderman: “With great power (wealth) comes great responsibiltiy”. They really get it. And then “saving to invest” makes sense. And then,of course, making money with money (passive income) is equally exciting.
The shortfall of most initiatives that want us to save is that there is not motivation. If you talk to a young person about saving to retire, they have no concept of what that could mean. In their world, they are never going to be that old. And they’ll deal with tomorrow when it comes. The immediate gratification issue is at play. The best way we have found to shift that thinking is to have them realize that they can start making a difference NOW. When we do the “Financial Freedom Plan,” the first thing they do is save for investing, then Charity. Spending is last on the list after we’ve managed the areas that are critical to our financial stability and to a world that works for everyone.
Create a wealth building mindset in kids while they are young and that will be their roadmap for the rest of their lives.