Skip to content


←All Posts

4 of the Most Valuable Money Lessons I Learned as a Child

by Team Sammy

Childhood Money Lessons that Stuck!

Do you wish you had learned more about money as a child?

You are not alone. I am glad I did. As we journey through life, it becomes clearer the money lessons we learn or do not learn in our formative years often shape our perspectives and behaviors, especially when it comes to finances.

Simple teachings can be profound. Following are four money lessons imparted by my parents that left a lasting impact. These lessons have become foundational pillars guiding my financial decisions and mindset to this today.

Money Lesson 1: Pay Yourself First

At the age of 12, my father introduced me to the book 'The Richest Man in Babylon.' I carried handwritten notes from the book in my pocket for over a year as a sixth grader. It motivated me to start automated saving and investment plans when I earned my first paycheck as a young adult.

Following this personal finance philosophy changed my life in two sginficant ways. It not only put me on a predictable path to increased financial freedom and security, it also inspired me to learn to live on less than I earned. That is an extraordinary one-two strategy for anyone seeking sustainable financial well-being.

Money Lesson 2: Work Will Get You What You Want

This message still echoes in my mind to this day: 'I can have anything I want if I am willing to work for it.'

My siblings and I grew up in what I lovingly refer to as "upper-poverty." In other words, we had food to eat, a place to sleep, and each others hand me down clothes, and zero discretionary income for treats and other things like allowance.

The extras dad and mom were unable to provide us were instead replaced with continual encouragment and entrepreneurial opportunities to start earning money by doing tasks like washing cars and mowing lawns.

They wanted us to develop a strong work ethic and be enthusiastic earners who were capable of getting the things we wanted on our own. As an added bonus, these experiences resulted in numerous cherished memories of my parents working side by side with us starting jobs, doing jobs, and finishing jobs.

Money Lesson 3: Don't Mortgage Your Future to Debt

Dad abhorred the idea of trading your future away to debt and the accompanying interest. He saw debt as a trap. His messages were straightforward:

  • Don't mortgage your future to debt

  • Use interest to build your wealth, not someone else's.

Money Lesson 4: You Aren't What You Wear

My father always dressed well and appreciated nice clothes. However, he hardly ever wore branded clothing. He was firmly against it. His messages were simple and clear:

  • You are not defined by what you wear.

  • It's not wise to become a walking billboard promoting the profit and values of people and companies you don't know or fully understand.

Parting Thoughts

As I conclude this reflection on the invaluable money lessons from my childhood, I am reminded of the enduring wisdom passed down through generations and the profound impact it has on shaping our financial well-being. From the importance of hard work and frugality to the dangers of debt and the significance of mindful spending, these lessons have not only equipped me with practical skills but also instilled in me a deeper understanding of the true value of money.

Companion Reads, Listens, and Resources

Your Thoughts

We value your input!

Share one or some of your suggestions that will help make it fun and easy for parents, teachers, and community leaders to talk to and teach kids about money.

Contact Sammy.

How You Can Help Sammy Rabbit Advance Kids and Families Financial Literacy Levels

Let's collaborate to get kids, families, and communities advancing their financial literacy knowledge, habits, and skills. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can help and we can work together.

  1. Give custom, co-branded Sammy Rabbit story and activity books to kids in your local community!

  2. Collaborate and partner with Sammy on "1" project in 2024: See a Menu of Ideas or suggest your own.

Contact us to explore more options and support Sammy's mission. Thank you. Have a #Sammyriffic day!