The discussion started like this. “Dad, I got $200 for Christmas and birthday, and I want to buy that new American Girl doll.” I paused, trying not to dash her hopes too quickly, and said “well you can do that, or you can save your money and buy a cow.” I made that suggestion mainly because we raise cows on our farm, so I have some experience. Notice I said “some” experience; by no means do I have it all figured out. Anyway, we did some quick math together at the kitchen table. You can buy a cow this year, sell her calf next year, then your cow is paid for. Assuming all goes well, each year you sell a calf, and before you know it, you have several thousand dollars in the bank. Or, you can buy that doll today. After a short pause to consider my suggestion and the answer came back, “I want to buy a cow!”
It really is that simple folks. Most of you will not be able to buy a cow, but you get the point. Teach your kids, while they are young, to think more like investors rather than consumers, and follow up by living that principle out in your own lives. The quality time you spend with them and the life principles you demonstrate for them will pay enormous dividends.