Browse Category by Kids and Money
Giving Back, Kids and Money

On Parenting: What’s Lost is Gifted (The Joy of Giving)

December 21, 2017

My daughter, Ruby, received a decorative bracelet at a holiday party recently. The next day, she wore the bracelet out as she accompanied my husband and I running errands. When we got back in the car after the first errand stop, Ruby asked where was her bracelet.

Instantly, I felt my heart dropped for a second there. I knew how much she liked that bracelet. When I looked over at her, she was trying very hard to hold back her tears (with such sad expression on her face!).

parenting and giving preschool

I was quick coming up with a story attempting to comfort her. I said to her:

Ruby, I understand that you’re feel very sad and perhaps a little frustrated that you lost your bracelet; but guess what, another child’s going to pick up that bracelet and he/she’s going to be very excited and happy to have found such a beautiful treasure! You see, it’s unfortunate that you lost your bracelet, but because of that, you were given a chance to make another child happy. And having a chance to bring a big smile on somebody’s face is very rewarding; another child is smiling because of you! For this, mama and baba are very proud of you.”

“Oh, okay”, said Ruby.

Then, upon arrival at our second stop (as we were getting our coats and bag to get off the car), I noticed Ruby’s bracelet laying in between her and mine coats. Ruby was very happy to have her bracelet on her wrist again. She was all smiling.

I cautioned her to take very good care of it while we’re inside the store. “Okay, I got it”, she said in response.

While inside HomeGoods, getting ready to enter the checkout line, I noticed the bracelet was missing from Ruby’s wrist.

“Ruby, where’s your bracelet?”, I asked.

She gestured me to follow her back to the isle where I was shopping for plates. And she pointed me to the bracelet.

“Ruby, you were being careless and forgetful,” I commented, further instructing her to pick up her bracelet and put it back on.

While in the checkout line, Ruby said to me, “Mama, I want to leave this bracelet for another child so that she can be happy.”

At that moment, it occurred to me that she purposely left the bracelet on the plates isle for another child to pick it up!

Suddenly, my heart warmed and I felt emotional. I held her tight and told her, “You make mama and baba very proud”. I’m very blessed to have such a beautiful and kind-hearted daughter.

I took her out of the checkout line, and asked her where she’d like to lay the bracelet. She decided to put it in the sink of the mini kitchen set. When that was done, I kissed her on the forehead reminding her I love her.

[Maybe she made it to Santa’s ‘Good List’ this year?]

ms financial literacy

ms financial literacy

That was not the end of this story…

That same night, as we were getting Ruby for bed, Ruby started crying. My husband couldn’t figure out why, and Ruby was too involved in her crying. After sometime passed, I asked her to speak to me.

Here was what Ruby said,

I’m feeling very sad cuz I don’t have my bracelet. Mama, can we please go back to the store and get my bracelet?” It was around 10 p.m.

“Ruby, it’s 10 p.m. The store is closed. Even if we would to go back there tomorrow, the bracelet might be gone”.

I continued on and reminded her, “I thought you wanted to leave the bracelet in the store so that another child can pick it up and have a big smiley face. No? That child would be like…Horray! I found a bracelet! And starts jumping up and down, all excited…all because of your generous gesture”.

“Oh, okay. I understand now”, said Ruby, while still sniffling from her cries.

I got her to lay down on her bed, meanwhile caressing her head and giving her little kisses on her forehead. She was breathing heavy for few minutes, and then felt asleep.

That night happened about two weeks ago. To this date, Ruby still remembers about the happiness she can bring to another child, by her “accidentally losing” her belongs while out and about. Just yesterday, as we were shopping at Costco, she brought a sticker in with her. That sticker was not with her when we got back in the car.

“Ruby, where’s your floral sticker”? I asked.

And she replied excitedly (and in such assuring manner), “It’s okay, mama; another child is going to be happy when she finds the sticker”. She gave me one of her biggest and goofiest smiles.

I love you, Ruby. Thank you for reminding me the joy of abundance and giving.

When Ruby is older, my husband and I will have to work on teaching her about valuing one’s belongings. Even when one has a very generous heart, one cannot just keeping giving all the time. For now, we’re simply just savor these moments.

Spread the message. Encourage others to begin their financial learning!
Early Retirement, Financial Empowerment, Financial Planning, Girlfriend to Girlfriend Money Chat, Kids and Money, Lifestyle, Marriage and Money, Money Habits, On Investing, On Self-Development, Retirement Planning, Women and Financial Literacy

All I Needed was an Inspiration (and a Free Gift to You)

November 30, 2017

I Didn’t See Myself Being a Good Teacher/Coach

I’m what some people might call a Type A, perfectionist, or over-achiever. I have high standards for myself. Growing up and while in school, unlike many other Asian parents, mine didn’t pressure me to receive certain grades or go into a certain profession. I was always the one that was self-driven and put lots of pressure on myself.

Knowing that about myself, I didn’t pursue a career in teaching, despite having contemplated becoming a teacher during my freshmen year in college. Yet, somehow, being in academia attracted me (and the over-achiever in me) and I went on pursuing a doctoral degree. While finishing up my advanced degree, I was a teacher’s assistant for two semesters. I did not enjoy that experience. I lacked the patience. Being a mother has been a trying experience for me every day. I’m very thankful to have an extremely patient partner along my side.

inspiration financial coaching

Several months ago, when my husband suggested to me to consider doing financial coaching with him, specifically to work with couples, I immediately closed the conversation. It was not that I lacked interest. Everything I do and share on this blog stems from my strong desire to inspire, encourage and promote smart and savvy financial skills. I just didn’t see myself being a good coach. I lacked the confidence.

Self-doubts were casting all over my head. To give you an example:

Continue Reading

Spread the message. Encourage others to begin their financial learning!
Kids and Money, Money Psychology

My Toddler’s Early Lessons of Money, Exchange and Delayed Gratification

August 3, 2017

My family and I recently visited Washington D.C. One day, my daughter and I had an engaging conversation on money, exchange and delayed gratification. And I’ve decided to share that conversation here in hope that you and your children might benefit.

The Situation

The conversation occurred as the three of us were walking along the National Mall, while passing by the carousel. My soon-to-be-3-years-old toddler loves carousels and Ferris wheels. As anticipated, Ruby asked me if she could ride the carousel. I fell conflicted. On the one hand, I wanted her to join the other kids in the carousel area and have an even greater time during our visit. On the other hand, we were pressed for time as we had already made plans with other family members for dinner and a nighttime bus tour.

early money delayed gratification lessons

I didn’t want to just respond to Ruby with a plain “no”. The three of us were having a great day, and I wasn’t going to let that moment ruin the beautiful memory. I had to quickly come up with a strategy to distract her, and give her enough reasoning to move along (both physically and emotionally). All meanwhile, conveying my words and wishes in a manner that she’d understand.

Moreover, I didn’t want to do a quick fix. I have learned that Ruby’s memory is pretty good nowadays. There were times in the past when I didn’t do a good job explaining to my daughter why she was denied of something, and she’d cry on and off for 30 plus minutes until her feelings got resolved. I wasn’t going to let something similar happen right there then.

The Conversation

Below detailed how the conversation went (in Mandarin):

Continue Reading

Spread the message. Encourage others to begin their financial learning!
Girlfriend to Girlfriend Money Chat, Kids and Money, Lifestyle, Marriage and Money, Money Habits, Purchase Decisions

Five Ways I’m Currently Growing My Family’s Daily Worth

June 18, 2017

The Then and Now

In several of the early articles of this blog (such as here, here and here), I mentioned that my husband loves numbers, analytics and investing. And he’s very good at all three. He started educating himself on personal finances, the stock markets and investing while in his mid 20s, and he continues to do so each day. Even though he’s not a day trader, he follows the markets (and major headlines) daily and analyzes our investment portfolio performance against several market indices. We use Personal Capital to track our finances and net worth. You can read my comprehensive review of this free online financial tool here.

From the start of our relationship, he’s always been the one that spends more time taking care of our equities (stocks) and fixed income (bonds) investments. This is still true even after I had my transformative moment (you can read about my story here). Despite my accelerated learning of the stock markets and investing in the past year, he’s still the more knowledgeable one.

building wealth daily worth

One thing that has been different in our relationship since that transformative moment is that nowadays I take a much more active role making investing decisions with my husband. I have a desire to learn from him (and many others) and continue to build my financial knowledge. Whereas before, I was glad to let him take care of all investments-related matters. Even when he tried to get me involved, I quickly dismissed his efforts.

Two People in a Relationship

Continue Reading

Spread the message. Encourage others to begin their financial learning!
Kids and Money

Paying with an Unloaded Gift Card (and My Mother’s Day Moment)

May 9, 2017

In the past few months, my husband and I have been challenged trying to explain to a toddler how credit and debit cards work.

mothers day

At 31-months-old, our daughter gets eagerly (and impatiently) excited to swipe the card every time walk into a store. Resistance is almost futile. As soon as we get up to the cashier, she’d pull on our clothes and/or attempt all kinds of sweet gestures (how about a big hug while padding your back, daddy?) to get hold of the card. Certainly, her short stature doesn’t stop her from completing her mission.

Once she gets hold of the card, she’d tip-toe higher and higher until her toes are sore, trying to reach the card reader. Sometimes, the cashier couldn’t see her and wondered why we were not making a move to pay. Most of the time, we’d lift her up and help her swipe/insert the card into the card reader. To slow down the line even more, Ruby would insist she’s got the hang of it and refuse to let us help. My husband and I’d watch her missing her aim 98% of the time, until one of us finally loses it and grabs the card away from her so that we can get out of the line. This usually involves lots of crying. If you don’t know any better, the expression on Ruby’s face would typically tell a story of a child being robbed of her favorite belonging.

An interesting and amusing incident happened this past weekend as the three of us were shopping at Target. Every time we enter a store, the following conversation (or a similar version of) occurs:

Continue Reading

Spread the message. Encourage others to begin their financial learning!