Raising money savvy kids

Barefoot Kids
In his brand new book, Barefoot Kids, Scott Pape does all the hard work of teaching your kids how to be money savvy. His books have sold millions of copies and counting ... and now he's written a guidebook you can hand straight to primary school-aged kids.

Every parent wants their kid to be financially secure. The problem is they have no idea how to achieve it and resort to nagging and bribing until the motivation to teach them … fizzles out. So I created something that kids can do on their own.. It’s not just a book, it’s an EPIC money ADVENTURE! – Scott Pape

This book holds the secret to raising smart, resilient, kind and hard-working kids who will grow up knowing how to manage their money. Give this book to every kid you know. They’ll thank you for it.

We chat with Scott Pape about Barefoot Kids.

What do you consider to be the best thing parents can do for their children financially?

Give them my book! So, I know that sounds totally obnoxious, but hear me out: Every parent has tried to talk to their kid about money. Every parent has done pocket money. Every parent has seen it fizzle out, and then resorted to nagging, scolding, and bribing.

My book is kind of unique: it talks directly to kids, and invites them to roll up their sleeves and go on an EPIC money adventure where they call the shots.

The parents are always in control – they always have the final say – however, the book does all the hard work and answers all the tricky questions.

The overwhelming feedback I get from parents is they are so damned proud of what their kids have achieved after they make it through all the Barefoot Steps.

The book features inspiring stories of children who are more financially savvy than most parents. What are some of the biggest takeaways you learnt from these children?

The biggest one is just how much FUN these kids are having. Their enthusiasm is totally infectious. Parents tell me they get swept up in it too, because they see how much fun their kids are having. (Contrast this to the nagging most parents do about chores.) It builds confidence like nothing else.

The Barefoot Kids tell me they feel older and more confident because they’re actually proving to themselves how smart they are. It’s a myth that kids don’t like working, or learning, or getting outside and doing stuff. These kids come up with their own ideas. It not only builds their creativity, but also their resilience when things don’t go to plan. Kids will find a way.

When I was growing up, working out how to do something was often difficult. These days,kids simply go on YouTube to quickly work out how to do most things. They’re very good at finding solutions, and they come up with ideas I’d never think of. They don’t have the same hang ups as adults.

Kids are blank slates when it comes to money. The concrete hasn’t set on their behaviours, so they have the ability to build their confidence and wealthy habits from the get-go. That’s probably the thing that excites me more than anything.’

Scott Pape launching Barefoot Kids
Scott Pape launching Barefoot Kids. Images: Matt Coble

Your book breaks saving into Saving, Spending and Giving. Tell us a bit more about that.

In The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need, I introduced the concept of three money buckets. It’s fair to say it changed the way millions of people managed their money (in fact, some banks even ripped off the idea!).

With Barefoot Kids, each money bucket teaches a money behaviour:

  • There’s something life-changing that comes from saving up for a goal.
  • It’s great to be a savvy spender (after all, no one likes being around a total tightwad).
  • It’s awesome to give and help people (the happiest people in life are those who give).


Explain why you think Australia needs a financial revolution and why it needs to start with our kids?

Whether we like it or not, money colours our entire life.

The fact that we don’t teach kids the basics, means many kids end up repeating the same mistakes their parents made.

We’re the richest nation on earth, according to the latest wealth report from Credit Suisse. However, we also have some of the highest levels of household debts in the world. We are the lucky country, but for how much longer?

Barefoot Kids is published by HarperCollins, RRP $29.99

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