children saving money FIRE concept


Actually, I’ve been sharing with Olivia on a sporadic basis over the past 1 year, that I want her to learn about how to save money, and invest into dividend stocks, so that by the time she’s 20ish+, she wont ever have to worry about money again and…

be able to focus on passions and purpose that she’s called to do in her life.

Sounds like big and deep thoughts and conversations for a mere 2+ year old kid, but hey, I thought I would start the ball rolling when she’s young right?

I mean, I would have loved for my parents and family to sit me down and teach me about FIRE 101 and how to keep my costs aggressively low, save my money, invest for passive income, and by 10-20+ years, I’d do so much better financially.

Oh well, it’s ok la, I learnt to be resourceful and grow, and that was the best my parents did, and I love them. But the buck starts and stops with me, so it’s my responsibility to teach my kids about money, so there.


I started to share with her that next year onwards, I will start a saving and dividend program with her, and I don’t have the exact details yet, but I explained to her that I will start giving her money and putting it into a jar (maybe Google Sheet instead), may $1-10 per week, and every week, she can spend the money BUT if she leaves the money in the jar, every Sunday at a certain time, I will add 10% (not sure what percentage yet) so that means that if she has $10 in the jar, she’d get +$1 in it by the end of Sunday/week.

However, if she spends the money, then her money will be lesser, and if there’s no money in the jar, then there is nothing to multiply/grow. She can use this money for whatever extra she likes that she request for that we don’t already buy in the house.

And my little 19-month boy, David, will be running the same program too (maybe, maybe not), I’m thinking of showing her the contrast (or not?). As you can see, I’m still thinking about the idea and hadn’t fine-tuned it, but I’m excited about it. My only fear is that I cannot/am not able to follow up lol, but this is important.

Readers, please advise me and give me some ideas how I can embark on this journey with my kids. Offhand I think I will not use Google Sheet, I think using actual coins and dollars will be more visual, and it’s the same money that she can use (pros and cons to this).


First of all, this is entirely my fault.

I’ve spoilt her such that every school morning when we have breakfast together at the cafeteria (canteen) near her school, I’ve allowed her to choose 2-3 items of anything she wants to eat (gasp!), and she didn’t have to finish them (double gasp!)

Edit: I know what happened then, I used to pack the unfinished home where I could have it for lunch or pass to my wife for her lunch, but that was porridge. Now breakfast has changed and I want to correct the buying-too-much behavior.

I know, I know, #selfslapnow

So this week, when she bought:

  • youtiao
  • donut
  • butterfly

All three being fried dough (ugh), what irked me was that she didn’t consume them all (I mean, how could she right, cos she’s 3+ years old!), and then didn’t give a thought about ordering a variety and not finishing them. And then she wanted a banana (which was healthy, but it was too much food already)

So I decided to have a conversation with her about this habit (which I remember first started as my fault, so now I have to correct it before it deepens):

Olivia: I want banana! (pushing all 3 food items away; if add iced milo, it’s 4 items)

Me: No Olivia, there is already youtiao, donut and butterfly.

Olivia: Noooooooo! (Starts crying and bawling).

Me, in firm voice: Olivia, tomorrow onwards, you can only choose one food item for breakfast, and you will still get iced milo

Olivia: NO! No NO!

Me: I don’t want us to waste money by buying food that we don’t consume finish. And there is no need to buy too much anyway

Olivia: (Sulking) Why?

Me: Because if you buy too much and don’t eat it up, it’d be wasting money and resources. Worse, if you buy too much and force yourself to eat it, you’d just be unhappy and worse, put on weight unnecessarily

Olivia: Why?

Me: Because I don’t like or want to waste money, let’s try to buy and use what we need, instead of buying for fun and don’t eat. And you buy one, you get to enjoy what you wanted. And let’s buy banana next time, it’s healthier.

Olivia: Ok =)

She wasn’t happy, but she got increasingly happier at the end of the conversation. I remember, this all began with me, so I need to be the one to correct this.

The next day, she chose a banana.

The day after, she chose a piece of fish.

Hmm – this may be working – keep you posted.

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