This week we are beginning a new blog series on Personal Finance Writers who inspire us. Andrew Hallam is our first honoree. His book Millionaire Teacher (The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School), has been a recommended read ever since it was published in 2011. On a teacher’s salary, Mr. Hallam amassed over a million dollars before his 38th birthday. When he couldn’t find a book to answer all the questions his friends and colleagues were constantly asking him (about the path to financial security), he wrote one himself.
Time is your greatest investment ally according to Hallam, who does a simply terrific job of explaining how the snowballing effect of compound interest means you can accomplish your dreams with smaller savings, if you start early.
Aside from restating the well-known fact that you can’t spend more than you make and expect to achieve financial peace of mind, the most relevant rule Andrew discusses for our purposes (teaching kids to think before they buy), is to “Use the Greatest Investment Ally You Have”. What’s your greatest investment ally? Time. Get rid of your debts and then start saving and investing as early as you possibly can. Hallam does a simply terrific job of explaining how the snowballing effect of compound interest means you can accomplish your dreams with smaller savings, if you start early.
By illustrating how much decisions today (like not buying new cars) can positively impact your future bottom line – Andrew hopes to inspire readers towards early, frequent, sound financial decision making. Our Gift Surveys are perfectly aligned with this focus on developing good habits early.
One of the ways we have ensured that we are helping parents accomplish that goal is by being realistic about when kids are most apt to be interested in learning how to spend wisely. Because we are parents ourselves, we know that most kids are “all ears” when they are asking for something – and we also know that they are on their phones a lot. So we made sure our Gift Surveys could be completed in less than two minutes, on a smartphone, in a store.
Wondering how to get your kids into the habit of thinking before buying? The next time they ask you “Can I get these high-tops?”, ask them what the cost-per-wear will be. They can calculate it right then and there with our free service. Give them the gift of learning to only buy items that will really be used and appreciated. As Mr. Hallam knows, even parents who aren’t teachers can help their kids grow up to be financially literate adults – maybe even millionaires!