Debbie Todd – Financial Literacy For Kids

Ever wondered why financial literacy for kids is not taught in school?

Me too...

We discuss why this is the case and how to make your kids financially literate. There are a number of techniques that are important to use in teaching kids about finance and not all of these methods are obvious.

financial literacy for kids debbie todd cpa

Financial Literacy For Kids: Money, Maslow and Magic…

By Debbie Todd, CPA

Do you believe the saying that “money makes the world go around” is real?  If you have doubts or haven’t thought much about it, simply spend a few minutes talking to a neighbor, friend or family member you love who is struggling with their money. 

What does their world look like - right now?  
Financial literacy

Are they going around happy?  Are they thriving and making a positive impact on the world? Or are they stressed, fighting with each other and getting continually backed into a corner of bad purchasing and borrowing decisions that will only make matters worse?  And how does that day-to-day money stress spill over into their relations with their significant others, their kids and others?  With you?

Let’s face it.  It costs a lot more to live today than it did 40, 20 or even just 10 years ago.   That makes it harder.

Whether its a viral pandemic, a natural disaster, an economic recession, death or divorce or even more insidiously, just having an “earn and spend more” mentality, these events or circumstances sure bring the value of simple and smart financial literacy to the forefront.  

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs comes to mind…and there are far too many amazing people getting and staying stuck at the bottom.

So now, let’s play a little and ask the question, “how much would life change if I (or my friend) could improve just ONE area of their money life?”  (Say saving $10 a paycheck). 

Then let’s really get into the fun…what if they improved TWO areas?  (Add setting up a budget for six months).  

What if they learned THREE smart money tools?  (Paying off a credit card or setting up an emergency fund.) Now what would life on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs scale look like?  For them?  For their family?  For you?  For the world?

It just takes one step, then another…but getting started is often the hardest part.

Why is that perhaps?

We believe it is three-fold: 

  1. Fear/shame 

  2. Lack of education over time (not taught in schools for nearly 20 years)

  3. Not knowing where to start making changes – while having a trusted mentor to guide missteps

In my experience as a CPA and community financial educator for over two decades, one of the biggest regrets I hear from people is they wish they had learned better money skills earlier.   Then they would be equipped to educate their kids and grandkids about money matters. So much preventable pain and sadness. 

Yeah, this is truly generational pain – and legacy trauma.  With sadness, its also true that folks more easily tell me they have had an affair or had a run in with the law before they’ll be honest with me about the real state of their finances.  

Larry, a military vet, an avid ballplayer and accomplished international training director for tech giant Oracle, knows all about starting things, and helping you reach success – in a way that is simple, yet extremely effective.  

He is the “logistics of money actions and tactics” man on the team.  Larry doesn’t throw any curve balls and calls it like he sees it.  

His goal for you:  

To win the game and find financial peace by helping you knock money problems out of the park!

financial literacy for kids


BUT…wishing it away won’t make it go away.  So now what do we do about it?  

One of our core beliefs is that lasting money wellness starts at the family level.  Why is this?  Think of when you decided to eat healthier…

When the rest of your family keeps bringing home chips, pizza, sodas and s’mores, how good does your salad look?  Well, the same concept holds true with getting your money house healthy and in shape.

Parents and grandparents are trying to trim costs and get ahead while the kids & grandkids are watching boatloads of shows and advertisements – to do what?  Get you to spend money on stuff.   There goes the budget…again and again.

This is where it gets FUN – yes, really!

When the entire family learns simple and effective money skills – AT THE SAME TIME, in their age group, and in their best learning language – MAGIC HAPPENS. 

Being smart about money does NOT have to be boring and drudgery – but it sure works better when those closest to you are supportive too.  Let’s go back to the eating healthier example.  

If everyone in the house agrees to limit junk food (even just a little bit), isn’t it easier to stay on track?  Meal times can be more enjoyable – and soon, everyone is feeling better about how they look and how they feel.  In many cases, it leads to even more healthy habits.  

When families commit to a healthier “financial eating plan,” everyone has ownership and can see their contribution to the their family financial strength.  Both short-term and long-term.   As debt drops, so does stress, worry, anger and the feeling of worthlessness.  As savings increases, so does confidence, peace, hope and family value.  

As money goals become a reality, all family members feel a sense of pride, accomplishment and confidence in taking the next step toward LIFELONG money wellness.  It’s MAGIC and it’s so DOABLE. 

You might be thinking right now – yeah, but this is a BIG issue and has been a problem for DECADES.  That’s true.  Again, wishing it away won’t make it go away.  So let’s talk about smart steps anyone can take TODAY to say goodbye to generational poverty and financial illiteracy.  

In our latest community-wide program offering, three families were successful in getting their money house in order and they were able to become first-time homeowners! Successfully using our tools and changing their mental “money confidence,” their dreams became REALITY - within a matter of months.

We believe true financial wellness starts at home with the whole family.  When Dollars and Good Sense – Family Fun Money Games™ happens, everyone in the house from age 3 to 103 can play, contribute and your kids and grandkids can grow to be Smart Money Commanders™ for LIFE! 

Imagine the money wellness gift you can give your kids – for the next 60 or 70 years of their life!  That is true legacy-building that can change the world.  In fact, this is a KEY aspect of what it WILL take to make our world better and safer – after all, our kids and grandkids ARE our future! 

financial literacy questions


We believe for a family to have financial success - they need simple tools, supported by experts who care about the ENTIRE family’s money wellness success.  This will drive success for today, tomorrow and the next 20+ years.

So, can you see how money really does make the world go around?  After all, financially healthy families are the heartbeat of healthy communities, of healthy states, healthy countries – and yes, vital to a healthy world. 

Debbie Todd

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Today's Guest:  Debbie Todd, CPA

As the eldest child of a humble, yet proud and dedicated military family, Debbie grew up learning first-hand the value of not having enough, of making your money stretch…as well as understanding how quickly impulsive choices can get you trapped on the never ending cycle of the money madness roller-coaster!  


The first child in her blue-collar family to finish college in her early 30s while raising children of her own, Debbie knows it really is possible to change your circumstances and realize your dreams…one dedicated step and one focused decision at a time.  

With over 20 years as a licensed CPA in public accounting as well as nearly 14 years in public finance in the utility and healthcare sectors, Debbie was running the Treasury Department of a $2 billion a year academic medical center when the 2008 financial meltdown hit. 


While successfully navigating her team through “the Great Recession”, Debbie found an increasing number of families who were simply being devastated financially.  Her heart turned to channeling her money passion to holistically help families learn and grow in their core financial knowledge.


The single most common regret Debbie has heard clients and friends say is that they wished they had learned better money skills themselves so they could teach their kids and grandkids. She also believes that “tomorrow’s philanthropists and world-changers are sitting in booster seats today.”


It is the perfect backdrop for teaching practical, FUN and financially sound money habits.  If you can ENJOY “getting your money smarts hat on” as well, then so much the better, right?  


Imagine how simple and smart money choices can transform you and your child’s ENTIRE life…for 50 to 70 years!  That’s truly peace of mind.  It’s an investment that builds a legacy of hope and impact.  It’s amazing how just a few simple, FUN and effective tools can make this your reality. 


After all, it takes financially healthy families to build financially (and socially) healthy communities, states, countries and, ultimately, a financially (and socially) healthy world

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