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The Richest Man In Babylon
Old 06-18-2007, 10:52 PM   #1
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The Richest Man In Babylon

I am sure some of you read this book. I am just getting started and fortunately I have been following his suggestions for over 30 some years. So I know they work. My question is how do you get young people or anyone to buy into "part of all you earn is yours to keep." At least 10 percent. I just don't understand why others don't save.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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Good book. And there are other good ones. YMOYL is another. How to get it across to the kids? Mostly by example. Youngest son is a senior (graduates in two days!) and driving. So a couple months back he comes up and asks "Hey Dad, why does gas cost so much? and Where are the heap stations?" He was aware that I was pretty cheap but 'got it' for himself when he has to pay for things.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Ya know, I just got through this recently. I cheated though and listened to it on audio book

But it always amazes me that the key to pulling this off is so simple - pay yourself first. And yet, so few people actually do.

I think the key is to force them to save early on. Like, tell your kids from the first nickel they get, that some % must be put into savings. By the time they are old enough to spend, it should be pretty much ingrained.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:24 PM   #4
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One of my biggest hopes, since I am going to retire at 30, is the honor of both parents being able to stay home, and I plan to teach them at 5 years old, or even sooner to start planning for retirement. If a child starts early enough saving and investing they can have a massive head start before they even begin their adult life.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:16 AM   #5
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Yes, I realize this is an old thread but I see no need to start a new thread.

Each year I voluneer for Junior Achievement through my employeer. I typically teach the kindergarten program and I've also taught fifth grade. If you're not familar with JA they promote self-reliance, money skills (financial literarcy), entrepenuership (sp?).

What grade level (age) do you think is appropriate to read The Richest Man In Babylon? I suspect the fifth graders could read it. What do you think?

Maybe next year I'll teach fifth grade and give the students the book as a gift.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:38 AM   #6
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In my experience...ask a kid, "Do you want that?" and they will say "Yes!"

Give them a sum of money and let them shop for themselves (with you around, of course)...and the concept of "prioritization" suddenly takes on meaning for them

Using the second method, I have watched one 12-year-old go in and out of 3 shops, twice over, before settling on the one item she "had to have." Using the first method, I would've been out 3x the money.

Works for on-line shopping, too!

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Old 02-13-2011, 10:11 AM   #7
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Give them a sum of money and let them shop for themselves (with you around, of course)...and the concept of "prioritization" suddenly takes on meaning for them

Amethyst
While it doesn't address savings, I agree that when kids are working with their own money, they learn to prioritize quickly. I think one of the best decisions we made along the way was to determine what we thought was a reasonable annual budget for the kids' needs that we had been paying for (including entire wardrobe, some incidental entertainment, etc.) and then give them a monthly allowance equal to a monthly share of that. That way we no longer had to decide on the fly when shopping together whether they needed the new shirt, or whatever, of the moment, and they learned to mange their money, consider the value of things they buy, etc. Some adult friends thought that was too high of an "allowance" but in reality it was just turning over purchasing decisions to the kids for stuff we would have been buying anyway, and including a small allowance for incidentals. So the kids learned about money and we were off the hook on making numerous little spending decisions along the way - delegation at it's finest.

As they got older we'd offer small doses of advice (as opportunity presented itself) about saving, time value of money, etc. Still working on that process and still haven't found what I think is an ideal and digestible book for that for young adults.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:49 PM   #8
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Yes, I realize this is an old thread but I see no need to start a new thread.

Each year I voluneer for Junior Achievement through my employeer. I typically teach the kindergarten program and I've also taught fifth grade. If you're not familar with JA they promote self-reliance, money skills (financial literarcy), entrepenuership (sp?).

What grade level (age) do you think is appropriate to read The Richest Man In Babylon? I suspect the fifth graders could read it. What do you think?

Maybe next year I'll teach fifth grade and give the students the book as a gift.
Good for you for doing volunteer work with Junior Achievement! Someone needs to teach the kids. BTW, I LOVE your avatar picture
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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In my experience...ask a kid, "Do you want that?" and they will say "Yes!"

Give them a sum of money and let them shop for themselves (with you around, of course)...and the concept of "prioritization" suddenly takes on meaning for them

Amethyst

I'll second that. We got tired of all the requests to buy stuff on vacations. Finally we tried just giving the kids $10 to spend. Soon they were coming back with $10 in their pockets instead of buying anything. Less time wasted in the gift shops then too.
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Checking With the Media Center at School...
Old 02-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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Checking With the Media Center at School...

and they indicated they would be glad to review The Richest Man In Babylon to see if it's suitable for their library. Another school in the county system has a copy of the book so at least it's recognized as having some value.

I plan to drop off two copies for them to review. I hope it meets with their approval and soon the students will be able to check it out from the library.

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BTW, I LOVE your avatar picture
St. Patrick's Day is not too long from now - the green hat will be in style for the season. My cat was not too happy about the picture but hey what does he know? He's a cat! And who's in charge here anyway?
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:51 PM   #11
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I'll second that. We got tired of all the requests to buy stuff on vacations. Finally we tried just giving the kids $10 to spend. Soon they were coming back with $10 in their pockets instead of buying anything. Less time wasted in the gift shops then too.
Funny thing is, you can order much of the same crap online at lower prices than the gift shops. If you time things right, you can order it while you're still on vacation and it will be delivered within a day or so after you get back. Your kids will still be able to bring it to school and brag to all their friends. Unless we're talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean (cap) flintlock pistol, in which case I highly-recommend they leave it at home. Used to love that thing as a kid.... (I think it was like $8-10 back then, now it's probably $50).
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:47 AM   #12
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You Can Lead a Horse to Water....

Looking back at the OP I certainly find myself with the same question. I am the youngest of nine children and it's surprising how different some of my siblings are when it comes to money. Most of my siblings are LBYM types even if they don't take much interest in financial matters. On the other hand there are two siblings who spend more than they make and cannot seem to get a handle on the matter.

So, back to the OP
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My question is how do you get young people or anyone to buy into "part of all you earn is yours to keep." At least 10 percent. I just don't understand why others don't save.
I don't understand it either. The answer seems so obvious. Maybe we need to focus more on the FI discussion. Once you're FI you can do whatever you want. I've been espousing (to family members) that FI allows you to do what you want in life - give to others, volunteer, teach, spend time with family, etc. without the burden of worrying about money. Many of them just don't get it or they think it does not apply to them.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:27 AM   #13
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Looking back at the OP I certainly find myself with the same question. I am the youngest of nine children and it's surprising how different some of my siblings are when it comes to money. Most of my siblings are LBYM types even if they don't take much interest in financial matters. On the other hand there are two siblings who spend more than they make and cannot seem to get a handle on the matter.

So, back to the OP

I don't understand it either. The answer seems so obvious. Maybe we need to focus more on the FI discussion. Once you're FI you can do whatever you want. I've been espousing (to family members) that FI allows you to do what you want in life - give to others, volunteer, teach, spend time with family, etc. without the burden of worrying about money. Many of them just don't get it or they think it does not apply to them.
Achieving FI can take DECADES. Most people don't think about what they're going to be doing next week, much less next year or ten years from now. It's no different than trying to get someone who is overweight to commit to losing 50+ pounds. They can't even imagine losing that much weight.

Baby steps. As someone else pointed out in another thread, start by showing them what putting away $10 a week will do (compound interest calculator), or even better, how putting away a few thousand in a 401(k) entitles them to "free money" in the form of an employer match? If one just saves through a company 401(k) (or the government equivalent), one will be reasonably comfortable in retirement. 401k Calculator
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:27 AM   #14
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No need to pay ... here's a free download.

http://www.ccsales.com/the_richest_man_in_babylon.pdf

I made this a required reading for my 12 yo ... also re-reading it myself.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:32 AM   #15
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No need to pay ... here's a free download.

http://www.ccsales.com/the_richest_man_in_babylon.pdf

I made this a required reading for my 12 yo ... also re-reading it myself.
Thanks, Tryan!
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Thanks for the Link
Old 02-20-2011, 12:41 PM   #16
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Thanks for the Link

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No need to pay ... here's a free download.
Thanks for the link. I may re-read it myself - this will be my fourth time and I'm always surprised what I come away with. There's the obvious "pay yourself first" but the last reading really drove home the point of keeping your skills up to date.

Keep your skills up to date! What a concept!

Back to a question I posed earlier - do you think this book is suitable for the fifth grade? I see mention of a 12 Y.O. but that's sixth grade or so (I thnk?).
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:07 PM   #17
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That particular 12 y.o. to whom I referred is in the 8th grade . TRMIB would have been well within her reading skills in 5th grade. She understood the concept of "saving for something you want" by age 7-8.

As for suitability: Just some things to think about: The concept of "getting out of debt," like the couple in TRMIB, may be hard for young kids to relate to, since they rarely have debt. Also, "growing your savings," which the Richest Man teaches, is harder to demonstrate to kids nowadays. In my day, bank passbook accounts carried 5% interest as a matter of course, so the accumulated interest on small sums was easy to see every time you went to the bank. Now you put $100 in the bank, and 3 months later it's still $100.

I would say go ahead and introduce kids to TRMIB. Even the ones who don't quite "get" the lessons, will probably enjoy the story about people in ancient times.

Amethyst

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Back to a question I posed earlier - do you think this book is suitable for the fifth grade? I see mention of a 12 Y.O. but that's sixth grade or so (I thnk?).
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:09 AM   #18
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No need to pay ... here's a free download.

http://www.ccsales.com/the_richest_man_in_babylon.pdf

I made this a required reading for my 12 yo ... also re-reading it myself.
Thanks - it gave me an opportunity to reread an old favourite at a price I am happy to pay (a few hours of my time).

When my daughters are a bit older, this is one of the first financial books I will steer them towards.
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