From Scarcity to Abundance: Parenting in Prosperity

How do you prevent your kids from becoming spoiled, especially when they grow up in a vastly different financial landscape than you did?

In today’s episode of Retire in Texas, Darryl Lyons explores the philosophical nature of this inquiry, sharing his own experiences and drawing wisdom from a diverse range of sources. Plus, he dives into key takeaways from the book ‘Make Your Kid a Money Genius, Even If You’re Not’ by Beth Kobliner, offering practical insights for parents and grandparents alike.

Some of the topics discussed include: 

  • Why preventing your kids from being spoiled is more philosophical than mathematical.
  • 18 salient points on how to successfully educate your children on the value of money.
  • The importance of storytelling, not lecturing, in financial education.
  • Discussing the fear of investing among young people.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to share it with your friends and family!


Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and Co-Founder of PAX Financial Group. Thanks for tuning in. You’re listening to Retire in Texas. And I just want to remind you that this information is general in nature only. It’s not intended to provide specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information.

And also want to remind you, too, we’ve got an e-book on our website that talks about giving and being thoughtful about giving. So, I want to make sure that you’re grabbing some of our ebooks. They’re very, they’re not complex and they’re free. So be sure to get those thought-provoking pieces of literature to digest quickly to help you think about that idea of giving, especially as we come into the new year here.

So this particular conversation was triggered by a lunch I had with a very, very successful person. And the question that he posed to me was, how do I prevent my kids from being spoiled? So he grew up without money and the situation is completely different now. He’s uber, uber wealthy. So no, he will not have money issues, nor will his kids have money issues.

And so how do you manufacture scarcity at home? And that’s a really good question because, you know, I feel like I’m in a similar situation and I’ve learned a lot from kneecap to kneecap conversations with families over the last two decades, so much so that I compiled them in a little book called The Grand Money Chasm, where I was able to very concisely put together some unique stories from grandparents, how they taught their kids about money and their grandkids, about money.

And my publisher asked that we compile it in such a way that it goes on the shelves at Barnes Noble and at that time bought Borders. But it really fell short of answering the question. I have some ideas and thoughts behind it, but I thought I really would like to answer this question even better.

But it’s not a math question. It’s a philosophical question. And of course, the word of God has some incredible information about how to guide your children. But when a question like that can’t be answered succinctly, it’s incumbent upon me to dissect it a little bit and try to understand a little bit more. So, I’m going to pursue that question.

So, I don’t have the answer for you, if that’s what you’re looking for today. Hey, that answer, I don’t have that for you today, but I want you to know that it’s a question that I’ll continue to pursue. And I’ve read a lot of books about how to raise your kids. and I think I’ve adopted some practices in my household that are very healthy, and some of them that I still I’m trying to figure out with my four kids.

But I did pick up a book that I thought would help me kind of spark some ideas. And it’s called Make Your Kid a Money Genius, Even If You’re Not, by Beth Kobliner. I think that’s how you say your last name. She’s a New York Times bestseller. And, you know, I think some financial people might say, well, that’s remedial.

That’s bubble gum books. You know, you should read something more sophisticated about, you know, options and securities and things like that. But, you know, sometimes I love to go back to some of these basic books that I pull nuggets out in. And this one was full of nuggets. And Beth did an incredible job of, you know, putting this content together in a way that it was digestible, so rich.

So I know a lot of us don’t have time to read anymore. And so I can share this book with you. And I’ll continue to share other books about how, you know, how do we actually get our kids from a point where they’re not spoiled? Right? That’s what we want to accomplish. But I’ll share more books with you as I continue to go down this journey.

But this one was good, so I recommend it. Make your kid a money genius, even if you’re not. But if you don’t read it, that’s what this podcast is about. I’m going to Digest 18. I’ve got like 50 bullet points here, by the way, but I’m just going to give you 18 salient points that I pulled out of this book.

Is that cool? So, we’re going to go through 18. It’s going to be kind of a firehose and I’m going to do my best to accomplish this in the short amount of time that we have now. What I decided to do was to say this is more for younger children or older children. That is a very broad category.

Right. Because you can have a young child that has the maturity of an older child. So I could say immature or mature, but that doesn’t come out right. So I’m going to every point, I’ll let you know. This is mainly for younger children. This is mainly for older children. But you do your assessment of that.

And then if you’re a grandparent, man, this is gold for you. It is gold. So let’s jump in here. Now, I’ll stop giving you the introduction. It’s been a long introduction already, So. All right. The first bullet points instead of lectures use stories, and this is mainly for the younger kids, but it applies to the elders as well.

I find this fascinating. In fact, that’s why that first book I wrote is full of stories. But one of the stories that you have to talk about is how you messed up about money. I mean, please talk about, you know, when Mom and I first got married, we bought things we couldn’t afford. We ended up with a lot of credit card debt.

It puts a lot of stress on our family. We couldn’t afford our mortgage. Those stories have to be told. So I know they’re humbling. And maybe you’re still stuck in those stories. I still think use stories don’t lecture. Number two, mom and dad’s. This data shows they talk to boys way more about money than girls. And I’ve got one boy and three girls and I feel myself drifting that way sometimes.

My girls would disagree, but I need to make sure that I’m still having those conversations with my girls. I don’t know why we do. The why behind it’s different. The reality is, it’s happening. So make sure if you’ve got girls, you’re talking to them about money, not just this is what a quarter looks like, but actually as they get older, talking to them about investing, what that means and get detailed about it.

Number three, again, this is for probably younger children, I would hope. But sometimes you’ve got to especially if they’re really young, you’ve got to help them with temptation and recognize this is a real reality of when you go shopping. I’m going to be very tempted to buy this. And let’s say they go and H-E-B is that’s a big grocery retail chain in the Texas area.

For those that are listening outside of Texas, that’s a big retail chain. So if you take your kids there and you say, look, Mommy’s going to be tempted to buy things that I shouldn’t buy, you’re going to be tempted to buy things that you shouldn’t buy. So when you get tempted and I’ll do the same when you get tempted, I want you to pretend that thing is full of spiders.

And so that’s just a little hack that may help. That may help with that temptation. I thought that was clever, creative, and something to consider, because that’s a big deal. Number four, the findings about the efficacy of allowance are all over the map. So if you’re really hung up on allowance and making that an integral part of your family dynamic, good for you.

But just so you know, chores, allowance, there’s not a lot of evidence that states that that leads to certain results, but you can continue to adopt it. The reason I give you that flexibility in your adoption is because some people give allowance each and every week, regardless if you’re doing anything. And other families say, I give you money when you do something outside of the basic chores of the household.

So for special projects, different families have different approaches to this. Number five, very important.. Grit. The ability to overcome obstacles, to think critically, to solve problems that’s grit. And grit matters much more than intelligence in your kids’ success. And our school system, Our environment talks a lot about intelligence. And I know there’s value there.

Without a doubt. I’m a big believer in education, but grit, the data shows grit matters more than intelligence. So you have got to teach that grit. Number six in this is mainly for younger kids. If you’re looking at something and saying, you know, let’s say your kid drew you a picture and this could apply to a lot of stuff. So take this and extrapolate it to the older kids as well.

But if you’re looking at a picture and it’s a drawing of, you know, sunshine or something, you can certainly say man that is beautiful. But to guide your child and say, Man, I like the way that you drew these specific lines. I love the effort that you put in here and the attention to detail. That is a method to validate grit versus outcomes.

And so if you’re trying to drive home grit, you know, make it a point whenever you’re looking at some type of success event and it could be, you know, drawing, it could be it baseball, could be whatever. But rather than focus hyper on the outcome, you can acknowledge this was a successful event. But talk about the grit, the idea that they overcame obstacles, they thought critically, they didn’t give up.

That’s what you want to continue to validate because that’s what it takes to have success when it comes to money in life. Number seven, Hanging with me so far. So far, so good. Okay. Number seven, mainly for older kids. But I think it’s important, you know, tell your kids that your number one regret in life is taking on debt.

The survey. So show that that’s the number one regret across the board for families that are a little bit older and they say, if I could go back in time, what would I do differently? They’re saying I wish I would have got myself into a bunch of debt. So make sure you tell your kids that’s a regret so that they don’t repeat it.

Number eight, this was a story that was shared in the book that this lady Jessica took her four year old, I believe it was four year old, to Target and pulled out a $20 bill at the register to buy a toy. And Jessica was horrified to hear her son say, hear this, don’t pay for it, Mommy. Meaning don’t pay for my toy, Mommy.

Use your card instead. So, yeah, a four year old may not understand the difference, but your six year old may not know the difference. You have to make sure they understand how these things work, both cash, debit cards and credit cards. And the difference between the three, checks used to be a big deal. And some of you guys were in you know, in high school and we were taught how to write checks.

That’s not as prevalent anymore. But it happens every now and again, especially with Venmo and all the other tools. I don’t know how much longer checks will be around, but you definitely need to teach them about cash, debit cards and credit cards. Number nine, this is for older kids today. The typical American rents their home for six years.

They rent an apartment or whatever. They rent six years before buying their first home. But in the early seventies, if you look at the data, it was they rented for less than three years. Now, this is very interesting because if that’s if they’re renting now for six years, this will not get easier. I mean, I’m thinking they may end up renting for seven or eight or nine with what we’re up against with interest rates.

That’s, that’s important if you’re a parent to think about and get in front of. It’s not bad to rent. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but it’s something to really consider. the sacrifice it’s going to take to put yourself in a position going forward to buy a house and put money down on a house. It’s just going to be a different game.

So that’s very important to understand. Number ten, mainly for kids that are younger, make sure they know the difference between wants and needs. What’s obvious to us, often gets lost in translation or it gets overlooked. But make sure your kids really understand that’s a want and that’s a need. Number 11 Play prices right at Walmart or whatever store.

Give them $20 instead of buying them something if they want. If they want to buy a toy, say, yeah, we’ll get you a toy. Rather than giving them a toy, give them $10 or give them $20, whatever it is, but make sure they look at the price and then they have to make decisions. Right? This is where you want their brain to work.

I’ve got two options. I only have $20. Which one am I going to pick? And then make sure they understand there’s a tax associate with it. So if it is $20 and they only have $20, then they can’t afford it because the taxes are going to put them over that $20. Make sure you play those games with them rather than just giving them a toy or whatever.

This can go with all kids, you know, teenagers at a grocery store or at a clothing store. Number 12, invoke the 24 hour rule. I did talk about this a lot. You just have to really be careful about those emotional purchases. The one click purchase on Amazon will kill you and instead of clicking, just pause and come back to it 24 hours and you probably won’t want it anymore.

Number 13, I thought this was healthy in the book. I thought something I really hadn’t thought about, but the word bargain should be thought of as bait discount, whatever it is these phrases, think of them as bait. So that way your defenses go up a little bit and teaching that to your kids, I think is a helpful tool.

You can only imagine them coming home and saying, I spent $500, but it was a bargain. It was on sale. Right. So if you teach them that, that’s bait. I think that’s healthy. Number 14, be careful. Don’t trust your senses. The Hard Rock Hotel and Universal Orlando Resort, they actually hired a third party to put the aroma of sugar cookies at the top of the staircases and waffle cones at the bottom so that they could draw all their customers down to the lower level where the ice cream shop sat.

So that’s happening a lot, especially during Christmas time. So don’t trust your senses. Number 15, the idea of winning the lottery. Bear with me for just a second. But they put the odds, the things most likely to happen to you then when winning the lottery. I won’t go through the stats, but you’re more likely to get struck by lightning, being in the Olympics, if you’re a high school basketball player, being a movie star, dying from a shark attack, becoming president of the United States, those all are more likely to happen than winning the lottery.

So I’ve always thought the lottery is a tax on the poor, and I don’t want your families to get caught up in that. Three more. This one hurts. This one is mainly for older kids. A young business reporter said, just this is this quote, a young you can imagine young. I don’t remember the exact actual age as I’m guessing twenties.

It’s like maybe early twenties. A business reporter said this quote, “Just looking at a 401k booklet, feels like the hotly acidic fingers of Satan are clutching at my trachea. It’s almost as if I’d rather die in poverty than figure out which investment option would shaft me the least”. Polls are showing that kids in their twenties are completely gun shy when it comes to investing in stocks and the data is not even close.

You know, we always think it’s going to be different going forward, but stocks in terms of long term investing, the data still supports it makes sense. And I’ve got conviction in that space not because of any emotional connection, but a cerebral, very thoughtful approach to stocks about how they work and how you are actually having ownership in companies that are doing innovative things.

It is not perfect, but young people should not be afraid. They should be excited about saving long term, but they’re not. They’re scared. And so you as parents can encourage them to get over that fear, to not lean into that fear and to save early because Social Security may not be there. The next one I actually needed to hear this is for older kids, but this was good for me because, again, you know, you just pull out nuggets and you’re like, Man, that’s gold.

That’s wisdom. You don’t need to be a perfect investor to be a good investor. And I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. And I know that those listening say, Well, I want you to be perfect. I do strive for it, but sometimes I beat myself up because I’m not perfect. So that’s just that’s a little, little insight for how I feel.

But it’s so good to hear somebody say, You don’t need to be a perfect investor to be a good investor. So that was good for me. But I think it’s good for older kids as well because, you know, they’re going to bet wrong, so to speak. But there’s an old saying, you don’t lose, you learn.

And so just make sure that they know, hey, you don’t have to get this perfect, but, you know, save it and you’re going to pick some winners. You’re going to pick some losers for if they’re real young, that Dave Ramsey formula is pretty, pretty good. He always says, I own growth, growth, income, aggressive in international, those specific segments or investment asset classes in the mutual fund world.

So that’s a good way to start. It’s not that you’re not going to be perfect, but you’re going to be good. Last one. This one’s regarding giving. So trying to get kids to think about giving. And we’ve learned before in other podcasts that when you give actually it actually reduces anxiety and we have an anxiety problem in our world.

And so the question that you would ask the older kids is if you could give money when you were in regards to giving money, if you could change one thing in the world, what would that be? And let them camp on that a little bit. And then that answer, we would need to connect that with a ministry or charity that tugs at their heart, that fulfills that goal, and then find a way to connect them to giving, even if it’s a small amount.

So if you are struggling with kids with a lot of anxiety, believe it or not, there is an antidote. An antidote doesn’t mean anti in the original Greek doesn’t mean against it means in replace of. So what you’re doing is you’re trying to replace the anxiety with something else and that’s redirecting their focus to something that’s bigger than them and that’s a God given character quality.

But you can pull that out through this one question, which I thought was brilliant. If you could change one thing in the world, what would that be? So those are 18 salient points. Good book. I’ll do this from time to time. If you think it’s valuable, just ping me, let me know. But I’ll continue to pursue that question: how do you not spoil your kids when you no longer are living in a trailer park where you know that those self-inflicted constraints already exist and you’ve got to manufacture these constraints?

Darryl, tell me how to solve that question, solve that problem. I’ll be pursuing that. The answer to that question is, well, with you. So I hope you enjoyed this journey on the book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius. And as always, I want to remind you, you think different when you think long term. Have a great day.


Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If… by Kobliner, Beth (amazon.com)

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