Sammy Rabbit - Facebook Sammy Rabbit - Twitter



Eric Tyson
Author, Personal Finance for Dummies

Q. Please tell us a little about your background?
A. My professional background began as a management consultant in the financial services industry where I got an inside perspective on how investment, insurance and other firms developed and marketed products and services to maximize their profits. Following this work, I began working in 1990 as a financial counselor and had a unique practice in providing hourly based counseling and did not sell products or manage money for an ongoing percentage.

Q. What drew you to writing about kids and/or money?
A. Our country has a lot of personal financial illiteracy. Many adults don’t know how to manage money because they never learned as kids. As I saw a lack of quality personal finance journalism from an objective practitioner’s perspective, I got involved in that in the early 1990s. I wrote my first book, Personal Finance for Dummies, back in 1993.

Q. Who introduced you to saving and/or money and at what age?
A. My folks instilled these good habits at a young age – probably beginning around the time I entered elementary school. I would get an allowance and was encouraged to save, which I did through a local bank account.

Q. What do you think the biggest challenge parents face when it comes to teaching children about money?
A. We live in such a consumption oriented society and there’s non-stop temptation to spend. Kids are bombarded with tons of advertising so they grow up knowing much more about spending than saving.
Q. What's your best tip for parents on teaching children about money?
A. Take the initiative and responsibility for teaching them. Explain the goal of advertising and the importance and value of saving. Explain the demands upon and realities of a household budget.

Q. What's the biggest mistake you think parents make when it comes to teaching children about money?
A.  Not realizing the importance of actually doing it and assuming that kids are getting the needed lessons and skills some other way.

Q. Are you pro allowance? Briefly, why or why not?
A. I think for most kids and families, allowances are a good thing. I think kids should have to do some chores to earn the allowance (and should be expected to help around the house irrespective of the allowance). It teaches them that you get paid for work and kids value money much more when they’ve had to earn it rather than simply have it handed to them.

Q. At what age do you think credit card education should begin?
A. I would start in elementary school (middle school at the latest) to teach kids that cards should only be used for convenience purposes rather than for credit purposes.

Q. At what age do you think parents should allow children to have a credit card?
A. I think debit cards are a much better tool and I would do that in high school, the later the better.

Q. If you could only give a child one piece of advice on money, what would it be?
A. Understand the connection to being money savvy and how sound financial management gives you more choices in life and peace of mind.

Q. What's your favorite money quote or saying?
A. “Satisfaction isn’t so much getting what you want but wanting what you have. There are two ways to be rich: one is to have great wealth, the other is to have few wants.” – Dr. David Myers

home | about | products & services | resources | news & press | contact

Site designed byMuse Media Design.
All content property of The It's a Habit Co.,Inc.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2006.