Sammy Rabbit’s 1st National Dream Big Read Financial Education Initiative is pleased to present Kaleb Paddock’s insights on kids, money, and financial literacy education.
FINANCES, FATHERHOOLD AND JERSEY MIKE’S
Kaleb is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) Professional and founder of founded Ten Talents Financial Planning. He offers flat-price financial planning guidance to growing families and couples nearing retirement. He’s a fiduciary, fee-only advisor.
Kaleb founded Ten Talents Financial Planning because he believes you deserve professional financial guidance regardless of whether your net worth is $1,000 or $1,000,000.
Kaleb, his wife, and their three young sons live in beautiful Parker, Colorado. When he’s not crafting financial plans, he enjoys playing basketball, actively participating in his local church, going on family hikes, coaching youth sports, and eating at Jersey Mike’s. (#13 all the way!)
GIVING IS A GREAT HABIT
Sam X Renick: This a question I ask everyone. It is the question I asked myself prior to creating Sammy Rabbit and entering the financial literacy industry. If you could only teach a child one money habit, WHAT money habit would you teach them? Please explain why.
Kaleb Paddock: I would teach the money habit of giving generously. The most fun you can have with money is blessing other people with it. If you can get in the habit of generous giving when you’re young, it’s likely the habit will never leave as you earn more throughout your life.
NEVER HAVE NOTHING
Renick: What memories do you have related to your first saving experience?
Paddock: My first savings memories are saving to buy toys at the store. I specifically recall trying to save enough so that I’d have money left over after making a purchase. I didn’t want to have nothing left.
Renick: Tell us about your first experience earning money? How old were you? What type of a job was it? How much did you earn? What did you do with the money? What did you learn?
Paddock: When I was 15, I started working for our local farmers. We had two working farms within a mile or two from our house. I picked raspberries for one farmer and I moved sprinklers for the other. I earned minimum wage at both jobs. I used the money to buy my first car, a 1985 Honda Accord, and also to pay for driver’s training school, insurance, etc. I learned the value of time and hard work in exchange for money. I figured out quickly that if I was going to exchange sweat and time for money, I needed to acquire knowledge and skills that would demand a higher wage!
A BIG BETTING BOO-BOO
Renick: What was your biggest money mistake as a child or teenager?
Paddock: Sports gambling in my late teens and 20s. I loved sports and thought I could make money betting with friends. Definitely a mistake.
SMART MONEY IS VERY EDUCATED
Renick: What was one of the smartest money decisions you made as a child or a teenager and why?
Paddock: Using savings towards my college education and continually pouring money towards tuition so that I had as little student loan debt as possible.
A VERY VALUABLE AND TIMELY LESSON
Renick: Did you work while you were in college? Please share a little about how working or not working while attending college affected you, your studies, and personal finance choices including student debt.
Paddock: Yes, I started a math tutoring business my freshman year of college and I was also the PA announcer for our men’s and women’s basketball teams. Running a business in college forced me to make smarter decision with my schedule. My first couple years I wasn’t as social as my last two years as I figured out how to juggle 20-25 hours of work per week with a full-time college load. But by my last two years of college, I was able to carve out more “fun” as I became more efficient with the business and school came more easily. Even at a private university, I was able to minimize my total student loans to $17,317 because I had a nice income stream (along with merit-based scholarships).
SHOW ME THE LIGHT AND FIND THE MONEY
Renick: At around what age did you realize “money was money” or that it had a value? Please share the circumstances or how the realization came about.
Paddock: I was probably 11 or 12. My Dad would have us double-check credit card statements against family receipts each month to make sure we didn’t have any unauthorized purchases. It felt mainly like busy work, but it showed me what items and purchases cost and helped me to start realize, “money was money”.
Renick: Cambridge University research indicates adult money habits are set by age 7. At what age do you believe parents should start teaching kids about money and why?
Paddock: My wife and I have a 5 year-old son and we started reading Sammy Rabbit’s Big Dream when he was 3. I think parents should find creative ways to talk about money and teach good money habits as soon as their child can talk and have a fun conversation. Because money habits are set at such a young age, the earlier the better!
BUDGETS AND BOTTLE CAPS
Renick: Did your parents talk to and teach you about money as a child? Please share a little about your experience on the topic while growing up.
And, if you have children are you talking to and teaching them about money? Please share a little regarding this.
Paddock: I don’t recall talking too much about money as a young child but my parents had a budget and I don’t recall any “money crisis” moments. Today, my wife and I talk to our kids regularly about money. We use these bottle caps as family “currency” and our boys can earn bottle caps for various activities and then cash them in for a special toy they’ve been eyeing. Even as a 5 year-old, our son is realizing the value of working towards a goal and understanding this trade of money for stuff. We also are vocal about giving to others, being generous with our money, and trying to be a blessing to others using money.
Renick: Why do you think it is important for kids and young people to learn about personal finance (and/or economics)?
Paddock: It’s important for kids and young people to learn about personal finance because they can’t live their lives without interacting with money. Having a healthy understanding of how money works in their lives is crucial to succeeding in life and relating well with others.
Renick: Do you believe personal finance should or should not be taught in schools? Why do you believe there is not more personal finance being taught in schools? Please explain why or why not.
Paddock: First of all, personal finance should be taught in the home. Parents need to step up and take the lead with their children on the topic of personal finance by sharing their own mistakes and what has worked well for them. Even if the parents have not received a good personal finance education themselves, the opportunity is there to establish good habits and seek out wise personal finance methods. Secondly, personal finance basics should definitely be incorporated into schools. I think we are up against a societal norm that money is a taboo topic and intensely personal. Also, even within finance circles, it can be hard to get consensus on the “right” money habits particularly in regards to using debt, giving generously, and the best approach to investing. As a result, you have inaction and it’s easier to do nothing.
Renick: What is one of your favorite books on personal finance and/or economics? And, is there one lesson that stands out from the book?
WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?
Paddock: One of my favorite books on personal finance is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The primary takeaway, for me, from Rich Dad, Poor Dad is that you have to decide between working for someone else (employee), working for yourself (self-employed), or creating a business where people work for you (entrepreneur/business owner). Most all of us are taught to work for someone else (employee). But if you teach kids to think outside-the-box, independently, and solve problems for others, then all three avenues are available and the possibilities for income and making a positive impact on others are unlimited.
CHECK OUT KALEB!
To discover more about Kaleb Paddock, CFP®, visit www.tentalentsfp.com.