What money messages are books sending kids?

Cinderella. Jack and the Beanstalk. Aladdin. Even Harry Potter. So many of the books we read as children, or read to children, reflect particular money beliefs. Untold treasures in a secret cave, or at the end of a rainbow.

The beliefs we have about money are often linked to childhood experiences and messages. We learn to ‘speak’ money within the home and the family, and the lessons we learn as children often impact on how we handle money later in life.

Last year, I was privileged to meet Annabelle Mooney at the Money Talks conference, along with her co-contributors Tanweer Ali and Eva Lebdušková. And last month, I was very excited to receive a copy of the book The Language of Money and Debt edited by Mooney and Sifaki. This fantastic book has a whole section dedicated to money and childhood, the topic of my post today.

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What is your New Years Revolution?

Here we are, at the end of another year. A time for many of us to reflect on the twelve months which have just passed us by, and to look ahead to the next twelve to come. To think about where our money went, perhaps, and how we might spend it – or get it to work for us – differently in the new year. But this year, I want to talk not about new years’ resolutions, but revolution.

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Are you writing your own script?

You may not realise it, but you are a script writer.

Every day, you are writing the script of your life. And just like in the movies, what you write into the script today will influence the eventual outcome of the story.

As Susan David writes in ‘Emotional Agility’, ‘We may not drive convertibles past palm trees or take meetings with movie stars, but each of us, in our own way, is a Hollywood screenwriter. That’s because, every minute of every day, we’re writing the scripts that get screened at the cinema inside our heads.’

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Are you (financially) typical?

Even before we started our serious efforts towards financial independence, I nonetheless read everything I came across relating to money. Your typical best-sellers, and some more obscure books and blogs.

Sometimes, those sources held seemingly contradictory advice. One, for example, recommended taking out the shortest home loan possible. Another recommended taking out the longest loan term possible.

Which one is right? Why would two published books – both well-written, popular finance books published in the same country in a similar time frame – give such seemingly conflicting advice?

It turns out to be a case of different horses for different courses, and learning which course is right for you is crucial.

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What’s the difference between gearing and cash flow?

In the last post, we looked at the buzzword ‘negative gearing‘ (where the interest you are paying on the loan is more than the income), and why positive gearing (where your income is more than the interest) can be more attractive. But for anyone looking to retire early, or have the financial freedom to quit their job, pursue creativity, or raise a family, the concept of cash flow is perhaps even more important to know about than gearing. And it’s something we all need to know about – not just investors.

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What’s the best investment?

Over the weekend, having recently returned from our overseas odyssey, I was thrilled to attend the opening of Hope: From Robe to Riches. The brainchild of my dear friend, and one of Enrichmentality’s first believers, Dr. Joanne Sullivan, the exhibition is currently on display at Gum San (金山) in Ararat. And it’s an  exhibition that got me thinking about the concept of investment.

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