I have been working with Neale Godfrey for over 30 years and have witnessed first-hand how she educates children and adults on the topic of Money. Her message does not use fear as a motivator (predicting a possible dire future that may transpire if certain personal money practices are not followed), but rather uses humor and transparency and the recognitions that money is a life tool that should be respected for what it can do if we are properly taught the basics of how to earn, save, spend and help or share with others (charity). Of course, children, who are the main focus for Neale, because they are our future, have to be taught basic math skills to be able to handle money. Practical Math education is an important topic and often ignored or poorly covered in many schools in much of the U.S.
I have seen CEOs of big companies as well as working single mothers laugh at her stories about every day practices that she uses to correlate to the topic of money and how misunderstood and misused money is as well as being the best kept secret in many families. Over the years we have as a group used money as a scape goat for all that goes wrong with our lives and we have passed this sentiment or attitude on to the next generation; attributing happiness to money rather than explaining the personal responsibility you have with regard to money. This misconception of money, as explained by Neale, starts forming at a very early age which is precipitated when parents are not transparent with their children about their family finances and how much money is coming in and going out and how does extra money, if they have it, gets spent. By including the children in this family conversation and making them part of the solution and not the problem supports a healthy respect for money. Of course, Neale’s’ books and allowance system encourage healthy money habits.
I have been fortunate to have witnessed three generations using Neale’s advice and I’m impressed how it has affected multiple generations. The story starts with a parent who had a teenage daughter who was out of control with regard to spending money and needed to have all of the latest trinkets on the market. Neale met with these parents who had just wanted their daughter to have the best of everything something they didn’t have growing up. They had created a completely money irresponsible young adult. After these parents read some of Neale’s books, they were able to turn the “I want syndrome” by using the allowance system to develop a responsible young adult who respected money and learned, into a person who could handle it responsibly. Today that young woman is a mother herself who has read her children Neale’s children money books starting at the young age of two (these books were one of their favorite books).
Today in this time of financial uncertainty these young children pride themselves in how they can help and solve the family’s money situation. It is so important that children of any age are included in their family money decisions because they feel (children) empowered and understand that they are not the problem, but rather they can help fix the problem. This is an example of how three generations have been influenced by the positive message Neale has delivered on money and money is not equated to happiness but rather to togetherness.