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Financial literacy is essential for your children’s future well being and success. Children who understand personal finance will have an advantage during their adult lives.

Help your child start young, while it’s easy and there are no bad habits to overcome.

Learn the Fifteen Financial Life Skills Your Children Need to Know by reading this Tip Sheet.

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The Financial Life Skills Blog for Families by Nancy Phillips

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Kids and Money: Audio Program Helps Parents Talk to Kids about Money


Nancy Phillips, family money skills expert

Today is a huge day for me, and I want to thank all of you who helped contribute to the concept of creating this audio product. Svetlana in Russia who needed information to use with her pre-teens in the community center, Sarah K. in Canada who wanted insight as to how to teach her teenagers, and Brad in the United States, who expressed his concerns about how to help his young kids grow up to be financially secure. There are so many of you to whom I owe gratitude for the inspiration - thank you. And, of course my own children, Natasha and Max are included, as they have been the light which initially ignited this entire journey. This audio is for all of you and your friends and families with kids. Together we can help create a bright future for all our children.

As you requested, the audio program discusses the key concepts for pre-schoolers right through the teen years. So, if you have children living with you, it probably has information you will find valuable.

It includes not only financial skills but also life success skills and all kinds of critical tips that will help your children live a fulfilling and financially successful future in this rapidly changing world - a world that is drastically different from the one we grew up in. As parents, we definitely need a new roadmap.

"Learning good financial habits can transform a child's future"

Financial Audio Program for Parents

Here are a few of the topics covered in the program:

  • The number one trait in children that predicts future financial success in adulthood
  • Damaging mistakes every parent should avoid
  • A simple yet powerful wealth building habit that's easy to learn
  • The Zela Wela Kids Financial House - Kids Money Milestones by Age
  • The importance of entrepreneurial thinking for children today
  • The power of giving
  • Answers to all your allowance questions
  • Why saving and opening a bank account is so important to your child's financial future.
  • What to say to your teens during "the talk" about credit cards
  • Habits of the wealthy

I hope you find it very useful and inspiring, and again, thank you for inspiring its creation.

 If you are interested in using the audio with your children, click here.







Keep Money Lessons Simple and Effective with the "GISS" Method


Nancy Phillips author of the Zela Wela Kids financial story booksThe kids are on spring break, the sun is shining and warm weather is close at hand (I hope). I've had some fantastic conversations in the last week with parents regarding their children's GISS banks and I want to share with you what the excitement is all about.

If you want to teach your children a money lesson that can create great financial habits and build long-term wealth, this post is for you!

 The powerful “Give*Invest*Save*Spend Method” for managing money can get your children off to a great financial start.


You may have heard the old saying “Keep It Simple Sam.” Well it’s true, the easier something is, the more likely it will happen, especially if it has to do with starting a new habit. The “GISS Method”  helps frame the financial decision making process thus simplifying it.

*Financial experts including Robert Kiyosaki, T. Harv Eker and David Bach  discuss the immense rewards that result from dividing income into categories thus allowing people to effectively plan for life’s needs and wants. As Mr. Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series states “rich people give, invest, save and spend. Middle class and poor people spend and then give and save if there’s anything left.”


The process of dividing the money and planning for it, along with decorating their own bank, gives your children both mental and physical learning experiences which creates more memorable money lessons.

The categories of the GISS Vision Bank:

Give (10%)

This is an ancient concept often referred to as "tithing" which means "a tenth." Giving is a very valuable concept for children to learn early on because as they begin to give to various causes, they become aware of their ability to help others and make a difference in the world. Children need to learn how to be thoughtful and kind, especially in this fast paced world. Contributing to worthy causes increases their self esteem and feeling of "community." Acts have kindness have been proven to effect people in a very positive way; this is especially good for children because of the feeling of empowerment and joy it gives them.                                                            Lauren King with her GISS Bank GISS Vision Bank

Invest (15%)

Investing is critical for people to ensure they will have a secure income and a healthy and happy lifestyle as they get older. Many people save but end up spending their savings on material items such as cars, boats etc. and not on assets that will create cash flow during retirement, such as rental properties, businesses etc. Investing is an abstract concept for really young children but can be learned about gradually. Initially this segment can be explained as the money “they grow and use when they are older.” Starting early allows them to benefit from compund growth over the years. 

Save (25%)

It is critical that children learn to set and achieve goals, and that goes for the financial part of their lives as well. As a child works toward their goal, whether it’s saving for a bike or a toy of some kind, they learn the steps needed for success. When they do achieve the goal, the self esteem they feel is very powerful. It shows them what they are capable of and makes them feel more confident, which motivates them to set bigger goals. Self-discipline and good decision making are fundamental lessons in personal development and life success. Parents need to give their children the opportunity to set and achieve small goals so they are inspired and feel confident to pursue their bigger dreams. As children get older, this category will eventually be divided up for such items as tuition, cars and eventually their residence.

Spend (50%)

This is the money that pays for expenses when you’re an adult, and basic spending money for treats and so on for the kids. Once a child uses their own money for purchases they begin to consider the cost and value of things and how to prioritize “wants and needs.” It’s much better for a young child to have a chance to handle money and make mistakes with a few dollars than to send them off to college and expect them to learn on their own. Mistakes are not bad things; they are lessons that need to be learned. Buyer’s remorse over a cheap broken toy teaches a strong lesson about quality even to a pre-schooler.

The Bottom line: The weekly experience of dividing money into “Give, Invest, Save and Spend” categories is powerful for many reasons. The process is repetitive which is important for learning and developing new habits. It is full of memory making actions such as counting and sorting coins. The method also incorporates thinking and decision making skills when the child sets their short and long-term goals. These experiences all work together to make a memorable learning experience and create the foundation for good financial habits.

Additional Benefit includes Parent-Child Communication and Bonding

As a parent, you will be amazed at the conversations you'll share with your children as they use their GISS bank. I can tell you both from personal experience and from the stories I hear from parents, the experiences are often heartwarming and sometimes quite profound. Parents love to watch as their children begin to learn the value of money through making their own decisions. Your children will now have the opportunity to talk to you about what they’re saving for, how they want to help make the world a better place, why they wish they used their spending money differently and all kinds of stories that will bring you closer. They feel proud to be managing their own money and to have been given the responsibility by you.

If you found this helpful and would like more information, the Zela Wela Kids Build a Bank book teaches children about the “GISS Sytem” and how to build their own “GISS” Vision bank at home.

The Zela Wela Kids Build a Bank financial story book


Now released – Status of Financial Education in U.S. Schools


Nancy Phillips, author of the Zela Wela Kids financial story booksSpring is in the air (yeah!) and the results of the Survey of the States have now been released by the Council of Economic Education.  The results demonstrate the current state of K-12 economic and financial education in the United States and how it has changed over time.

The Council For Economic Education works to “ensure that K-12 economic and personal finance education is a priority in school systems across the country.” They provide free training for teachers and are among the leaders in the movement to helping all children receive financial education within the school curriculum.

Key Findings Include:

*Only 13 states require a course in personal finance to be taught, 2 fewer than in 2009.

*22 states require a high school course in economics to be offered, less than half the country.

Less than 20% of teachers report feeling very competent to teach personal finance topics. This is where the free teacher education provided by the CEE can provide a huge benefit.

Bottom line – financial education influences behavior

“Students from states where a financial education course was required had the highest reported financial knowledge and were more likely to display positive financial behaviors and dispositions. Compared to other students, these young adults were:

  1. More likely to save, pay off their credit cards in full and be willing to take average financial risk.
  2. Less likely to max out their credit cards, make late credit card payments or be compulsive buyers"

It really is quite simple to understand. When a person is exposed to something that is relevant to them and they have the opportunity to apply that knowledge in real life, they will learn valuable lessons that they can benefit from throughout life. You don’t know what you don’t know so if there is no exposure to financial education early on, our children will grow up with the major disadvantage of having no awareness of finances or how to prioritize and make good decisions. They won't experience the opportunity (and that's just what it is) of having managed their own money and the perspective of having learned from small mistakes along the way. Financial know-how is a life skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. It's also much easier to establish good habits at a young age, we all know how that goes.

Implementing financial education classes nationally will not only affect the future well-being of our children individually in regards to their future success and fulfillment, it will also significantly affect the economic and societal well-being of each and every country where standard financial education eventually occurs.

 Read the complete document here

Educators, here is the direct link to the CEE affiliates in your state


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