How Careful Spending Helps Kids “Find Their Whistle”

If you are looking for a fun but authentic read to give as a Father’s Day or Graduation Gift this coming June, we’ve got good news for you: We were recently made aware of a charming book, and seeing as we are serious forward planners, two months in advance doesn’t seem too early to tell you about it. “Find Your Whistle” was written by Christopher Ullman, a husband, father of three, Washington-based Communications Professional, and four-time World Whistling Champion! (Yes, you are reading correctly.) In his book, Mr. Ullman inspires readers to find their simple gift – their whistle – and make the world a better place.

Mr. Ullman thanks his siblings for not insisting he stop whistling, and his wife for insisting he write his book. We thank him for yet another take on why financial literacy is one of the best gifts we can ever give our children: Thinking before buying not only gives kids money smarts, it can’t help but help them “find their whistle”!

Who knew there was a World Whistling Championship? And yet, who among us, hasn’t enjoyed either whistling themselves, or hearing someone else carry a tune in this most old-fashioned of ways? Mr. Ullman can still remember the first time he successfully whistled, how it “startled him and delighted his father”. His book is a memoir, each chapter describing a distinct performance in which he typically received more from whistling, than the people he was whistling for. He generously intersperses these with profiles of just some of the people who have made his own life better with, you guessed it, their own particular “whistle”!

The book concludes with the four main lessons almost fifty years of whistling has taught Chris. Two of the four (be grateful and be disciplined) are immediately compatible with our mission of preventing children from developing poor spending habits (and the issues those can create later in life). When you think about it, encouraging your kids to be more thoughtful about requests really can’t help but help them to also “find their whistle”. Because when we take the time to even just quickly explore how much we will use and appreciate an item or experience we are asking for, we aren’t only honing our preferences, but also our ideas about the world we would like to live in.

Because when kids take the time to even just quickly explore if they will really use and appreciate an item or experience before they ask for it, they aren’t only honing their preferences, but also their ideas about the world they would like to live in.

Your “whistle” might be hand-painted ceramics, or planning fishing trips for benchmark birthdays. Ours is giving kids early but meaningful financial lessons, like how to calculate the true value of attending a concert or sporting event, or the cost-per-use of those new purple boots. We see it slowly but surely making the world a better place when families tell us we are changing the conversations they are having about spending, that they are wasting less and enjoying more. To learn how, click on the pink or green buttons below.

As for Mr. Ullman, Gifting Sense was launched on November 13th  2015 and we would be honoured to receive a Happy Birthday Whistle-Gram on our 2nd Anniversary!


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