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It Turns Out Kids Want to Be Millionaires

  August 6

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become a millionaireIf you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me getting ready to head out for my first public speaking gig as Budget Blonde this past Monday!

It was seriously so much fun. I really want to do it again. I was fortunate to get the gig through a friend of mine who works for The Newark Youth Leadership Project, a great leadership training organization for high school students. They hire speakers to talk about a range of issues, and so of course, they asked me to talk about money honey!

My talk was called “How to Become a Millionaire in 5 Steps.” We chatted all about what people think millionaires look like, how to invest, how to buy a stock, how to resist pretty shiny things you want to buy at the mall, and why people should want to become millionaires (for the FREEDOM of course!)

In my past life, I worked in museums and gave tons of educational programs and tours. Then, I taught a college writing course while I lived in Grenada. As many of you know, on January 1 of this year, I left all of that to be a full time blogger.

Interestingly enough, as I was standing there in front of the classroom getting ready to talk to those kids, I got that familiar feeling of joy and excitement that I always felt when I spoke in front of large groups back in my old jobs.

Despite all the awesomeness of working for myself, I realize how much I missed helping young people, how much I miss being in the classroom, and how much fun it is to banter back and forth with students and see them getting excited about something new.

It turns out, kids want to be millionaires, and lots of them have their heads on straight when it comes to money. Many of them told me their parents and grandparents told them to save their money. Lots of them already knew companies they wanted to invest in. They had some great questions. I think my favorite was the student who blurted out, “Are you a millionaire?” Not yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ was my answer. Then someone asked me, “Do you make a lot of money blogging?” I said sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. That’s the risk of working for yourself!

Of course, once I mentioned the twins, all hell broke loose and all the girls wanted to see their picture so I indulged them at the end by pulling one up from Instagram, haha.

Two students stayed after to talk to me. One was a computer programmer and wanted to know how he could make money from those skills. I really pushed and encouraged him to hustle like nobody’s business. Another one was so sweet and shy and wanted more information on what exactly a stock was and wanted to know how to research them. He then told me he didn’t buy an iPhone because they were too expensive and there was no reason to get the latest and greatest version. Be still my heart, young grasshopper.

Overall, it was very fulfilling and fun and I will definitely be pitching other organizations and schools to see if I can speak at other places in the future!

Do you want to be a millionaire? Did you know kids today are actually super up to date about this sort of thing!?

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me getting ready to head out for my first public speaking gig as Budget Blonde this past Monday! It was seriously so much fun. I really want to do it again. I was fortunate to get the gig through a friend of mine who works for The Newark Youth Leadership Project, a great leadership training organization for high school students. They hire speakers to talk about a range of issues, and so of course, they asked me to talk about money honey! http://catherinealford.com/2014/08/06/kids-want-millionaires/

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46 responses to “It Turns Out Kids Want to Be Millionaires

  1. One of the big criticisms of schools where I live (in Canada) is that they don’t provide effective education in the area of personal finances. But when efforts to introduce money matters into the curriculum are made, studies indicate it doesn’t stick. Students forget what they’ve learned as soon as they leave the classroom. I think that what you’re doing is the answer. Engaging the services of speakers like you has way more potential to impact students. From the sounds of it, those kids will remember what you said to them long after they graduate. All the best in this effort! It’s a very worthy one.

  2. My goodness these kids are adorable, so excited about money.

    I agree with Prudence however, engaging speakers talking to them and then making sure their PARENTS follow up in helping them learn these lessons are the keys to getting them to reach financial independence.

    I love it when kids are interested in their money and learn the value of it. These are all things I want for Baby Bun.

    (Also… you crazy woman, you’re in HIGH HEELS holding TWINS… I can’t even wear heels and hold ONE let alone two..)

  3. That’s awesome that the students actually seemed engaged. Though you were talking to probably a pretty bright group (considering they are in Leadership as an extracurricular). I love how brazen they are… “are you a millionaire” ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. That is awesome, Cat! Hope this leads to more speaking opportunities for you. I wish someone had come to talk about financial matters when I was in school. And I have to say- seeing a woman, with new twins no less, talking about money matters just had to be inspiring for all of the young women there!

  5. Yay! That’s so awesome. You look great, professional mama with the blazer and two babies!
    What an encouraging experience, I’m sure you rocked it. Your talk title was pretty awesome, that’s for sure.
    I hope you get more speaking gigs. It sounds like an awesome way to mix things up for you, and to act as another revenue stream.

  6. I read an article yesterday about how kids who grew up during the 2008 recession are much more money conscious and better savers than our generation. It’s amazing to know that money is on their minds so early – it’s an incredible life skill for them to develop so early on. I bet it felt great continuing to grow their knowledge on money by speaking to them. Congratulations again!

  7. Dang, that sounds like a great time!!!

    A programmer who is driven by money and sought out your advice. Yeah… he’ll do just alright.

  8. I think students get a bit more excited when a guest speaker comes at them as opposed to their regular teacher. I love how they shared their thoughts and references to money. Obviously you made a positive impression Cat as evidenced by the two students who stayed behind to talk with you. Even with some who didn’t you may have planted more seeds about money. I hope you get more opportunities and speaking engagements with this age group.

  9. It sounds like both you and the kids had a great time! It’s awesome to hear that they were truly interested and want to make good financial decisions, especially the one who didn’t think getting the new iPhone was worth it. I hope you get another opportunity to speak soon!

  10. I would see most of the kids I talk to are more about figuring out who they are and what they want to do. I think I would be thrilled if one of them said I want to be a millionaire and had a plan of course.

    Speaking gig sounds fun, didn’t realize you had twins, good times had by all I’m sure.

  11. That’s great that you are spreading the word and inspiring the next generation…how old were these kids? So good to hear a kid say that he/she didn’t need the latest and greatest gadget…there is hope for the future!

  12. So glad your speaking gig went well! I’m sure the students enjoyed your presentation too ๐Ÿ™‚ Educating kids is the best thing in the world! I love helping the kids in my community (currently with things in 4-H usually). It makes me feel good and it helps pass on knowledge and skills that would otherwise be lost over time.

  13. This is so cool, Cat! I love how honest kids are. They asked questions that many of us would wonder about someone, but feel too shy or embarrassed to ask. It’s great that you’re having open conversations with them about money and encouraging them to hustle!

  14. Very nice Cat. I think it’s great they are trying to get kids to start thinking about their futures and what they want. I can’t say I want to be a millionaire.. I really just want to be student loan debt free and living a happy life.

  15. Getting them when they are young and don’t have bad preconceived notions or habits is awesome! I can see how that would be very rewarding. If they can visualize themselves down the road by relating to your experiences, it’s more likely to motivate them than any textbook talk, for sure! Good job!

  16. I teach a financial literacy class a few times a year and I love seeing the concepts click into place. High school students are pretty savvy these days! When I started explaining what happens if you buy a new phone or computer on credit and pay only the minimum payments, they understood immediately that the phone/computer would be outdated long before they finished paying for it. My favorite, though, was role-playing a car-buying negotiation after teaching them some negotiation skills. They always amaze me!

  17. Change comes from excitement. When kids know you are passionate about something and see your excitement, it becomes contagious. That is how I got into my profession. A passionate teacher sharing his knowledge and excitement with me about finances. How awesome!

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