“But saving money is hard work, Daddy”
My two sons are keen savers – and big spenders too! 🙂 I instilled in them the importance of saving from an early age. However, they seem to want to spend money quicker than they’re saving it! Here’s what I shared with them:
1 Why and what are you saving the money for?
This was to focus them on the purpose and outcome. I’ve always been a believer that if you know the end result then you can work backwards to achieve it. It’s a bit like building a house, I guess. Once you can see the drawings and the plan then you know what you’re working towards. The plan comes first and then you work towards it. When my children knew why they were saving the money, they tended to be more focussed on making sure they actually saved more money than they otherwise would’ve saved.
Are you clear on what the end game looks like? And do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing?
The ‘what are you saving for’ was the easy bit. This added excitement into the game for them. If it was something they wanted badly then they saved harder and faster. As kids we all liked games,didn’t we? So why do we stop doing this when we grow-up? Games are fun. They help us achieve things through enjoyment and excitement. Here’s an example for you…
In my office we always play a game around tax return (self-assessment) season. How it works is that when someone files a tax return they get a treat. This treat is a predetermined item. Sometimes it could be a chocolate, a biscuit, an ice cream and so on. The team usually choose the treat – I just pay for it! It works like magic. Everyone gets focussed on the task at hand and we all have fun.
What do you do in your business to create a game to get everyone involved?
2 It’s only money
This is a trickier one to explain to children especially a 7.5 and 6 year old. As I was explaining this, my eldest son, asked me ‘if it’s only money then why do people work so hard at earning more of it – they shouldn’t care about it?’ What a great question, I thought! My explanation to him was pretty simple. I told him that money is not the goal in life. And it only comes to you as a consequence of doing the right things at the right time. This made perfect sense to him as he linked it back to his little money pot. He understood that if he did the right things by being disciplined and saving money regularly then it would build up. And at the end he would be able to buy something he was saving up for.
The question for you is how focussed are you on money? And how focussed are you on the result?
Money is a bit like people, if it sees that you’re desperate and needy, it tends to distance itself from you. Don’t make money your ultimate goal. Instead have something else which is worth striving for. The money will follow and you’ll become the Piped Piper.