Why You Want “Fresh” Kids

Last week was supposed to be the final “Financial Writers Who Inspire Us” blog post. We had every intention of moving onto the next topic: allowance best-practices. But Ron Lieber threw a spanner into the works. Ron wrote a book last year called The Opposite of Spoiled that we just read as part of our on-going research. It is so balanced and informative and pertinent to what Gifting Sense is trying to accomplish that we had no choice but to make him our 6th (and final, we mean it) honoree.

When you first read our headline, you might of thought to yourself, I don’t want “fresh” kids because fresh is a synonym for cheeky, precocious or maybe even rude. Our use is a word-play on the title of Ron’s book – which was born out of his realization that although no one wants spoiled kids, “the word spoiled has no useful antonym”. Spoiled was used to refer to meat long before it was used to describe children Ron explains and “meat that is not spoiled is fresh.” Of course Ron knew fresh was “not the first word that comes to mind when describing an ideal young adult”. Hence “The Opposite of Spoiled”, which is subtitled Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money.

Gift Surveys can go a long long way towards accomplishing what Mr. Lieber and so many parents around the world dream of: children who grow up to become thoughtful, financially literate young adults; the kind who are able to create a fulfilling life they enjoy and can sustain.

If you want to learn how to combat materialism, model charitable giving and wise spending, this book is for you. Check out how the word “thrift” is reframed in Chapter Four, where readers learn that “…the root word of thrift is thrive.” Ron is a parent and has talked to a lot of parents over the years. He understands the challenges parents face, and he offers up a host of solutions for everything from the tooth fairy’s going rate, to at what age going virtual with savings (versus amassing them in a jar) might be appropriate. His book is just such a thorough, helpful guide on why and how to talk to kids about money that we would have felt remiss had we not brought it to your attention.

As you will read in coming weeks, Ron believes that allowance should not be tied to chores. There are many other personal finance experts and enthusiasts who disagree with him. One of the reasons you feel so comfortable reading Mr. Leiber’s book is that you come to understand, he will always present the other side of an argument. Ron leans into his vulnerability as a parent and describes how the path to hell is often paved with good intentions. And his daughter isn’t even a full-on teenager yet. Brace yourself Ron.

We believe our Gift Surveys can go a long long way towards accomplishing what Mr. Lieber and so many parents around the world dream of: children who grow up to become thoughtful, financially literate young adults; the kind who are able to create a fulfilling life they enjoy, and can sustain.

Gift Surveys create opportunities to talk about money. They help ensure that family (gift) dollars are spent as wisely as possible. They deliver quick but meaningful bursts of financial education. We hadn’t read Mr. Leiber’s book when we designed them, but in retrospect, Gift Surveys were purpose-built to help parents raise “fresh” kids, or should we say kids who are indeed, the opposite of spoiled!


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