One of the most important things we can teach our kids about money is how to tell themselves no.
No, I don't really need THAT. No, I don't want to work hard and spend my money on THAT. No, I don't need mom or dad to be there to tell me no, I can make that decision on my own. And the beauty of that one simple lesson, is that you don't have to understand complex money concepts, you don't have to be a millionaire to live it yourself, and you don't have to have to be an adult to understand how to do it.
This is the one thing we hope to teach kids to do before going off to college, or getting their first job. Before they get their first credit card and run into money troubles. Before they need to borrow $10,000 and move back in to your basement.
Going off to college as a Freshman brings many new experiences. Living away from home, navigating choosing schedules, and sometimes getting a credit card. Telling oneself yes, in the absence of any authority being there to tell you no, can bring a retail-therapy kind of high. But, as the bills start coming, soon the reality sets in and the stress of having to pay off that debt can be overwhelming.
The average college student leaves school with $4100 in credit card debt according to Sallie Mae. 75% of American families say they live paycheck to paycheck. And 25% have no savings at all. It is clear we have a societal challenge that is not restricted to small classes.
We are working to help folks learn one thing about money: how to tell themselves no while shopping and make spending decisions based on their willingness and ability to work for it. That is why we created Quest to Clean Up.
With this app and the programs we are integrating into elementary and junior high schools, kids can begin to experience the value of money and the importance of knowing how to make informed decisions based on their willingness to work, and the discipline to know which wants are worthwhile and those that are not. That way, they focus on the things they really value, and learn how to bypass those they don't. All the while, we provide tips to parents about how to talk to kids about complex money concepts in an effort to instill financial discipline.
We hope you find this a valuable tool in your quest to teach kids financial discipline. Feel free to reach out to us with suggestions and any questions you have!
—Chief Mom and Founder, Michelle Salsberry