Teach Your Children Well

by Jeff C. Johnson

Mother and child

“The Bookkeeper and the Surgeon” is the true story of a thrifty bookkeeper and a not-so-thrifty, highly paid surgeon. The story is told in my book The Five Financial Foundations, available on this website. If you buy this book, read it and then pass it on to someone who is just getting started investing. Its lessons will be far more valuable than the modest $11.95 cover price.

I included the story as a lesson for young people, college students, and anyone getting started saving and investing money. It supports my recommendations to save money, have a cash reserve, fully fund a retirement plan, make the right housing choices, and avoid consumer debt.

What it doesn’t completely spell out is that your financial choices and actions have an impact on how your children manage their finances and their lives.

The bookkeeper’s children all learned and adopted his consistently thrifty ways of managing money. Now adults, they all are saving money, funding retirement plans, saving for college costs, and are on their way to a comfortable and no-pressure financial life. I’ve observed this over and over. The financial DNA of a family is often passed down from generation to generation.

The bookkeeper’s children learned it from their mom and dad. Your children (and grandchildren) can have a great financial life too, if you teach your children well.