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Thought-Provoking Fiction


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Schools around Australia are celebrating books and writing and authors and the imagination starting tomorrow for the Children's Book Council of Australia's annual BOOK WEEK! 

If you're the parent of a younger child, you've probably been roped into making a costume of one of their favourite book characters. I was very chuffed a few years ago to receive a photo of a girl dressed as Nina from The Mastery Club! A green wig was the key to that costume :-) 

scam articleThis week an article in the Herald Sun declared that 'Aussie kids were scammed out of more than $170,000 last year according to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission scam activity report' – significantly up from previous years. Suncorp behavioural economist, Phil Slade, said 'Kids were particularly susceptible to being ripped off by dodgy operators' and 'One of the best ways to help our kids avoid being scammed is to teach them financial literacy skills at an early age, to help them question things when dealing with money.' 

Enter Quest For Riches - 4 teenagers discover the keys to wealth and prosperity, a novel designed to educate young people about money management! You don't have to lecture them about good habits; just let them read an entertaining contemporary story about relatable characters. (So, yes, I confess: Suncorp hasn't – yet! – endorsed this book but they are certainly endorsing the need for financial literacy from a young age.)

As multi-millionaire Dr John Demartini says: 

"Quest For Riches invites young people to embrace the ancient wise advice to ‘Know Thyself’ by coming to understand their own patterns, habits and beliefs around money. This contemporary story about four teenagers and their families also offers important information about the core principles of money management and wealth creation, and emphasises the key ingredient of building one’s savings and then investments.” 

– Dr John F Demartini, international best-selling author of The Values Factor

 Help celebrate Book Week! Pick up your copy here

Dr D QFR

Ludwina redSuccessful entrepreneur Ludwina Dautovic was one of the guest speakers at the launch of Quest For Riches. I wanted to share with you more of her comments as they are so pertinent for anyone who wants to teach their kids the value of money. Ludwina kindly gave me her entire talk to publish here. Enjoy! If you'd like to share, please give credit. Ludwina Dautovic:

My adult children are 27 and 24. As a young mother I didn’t have a good example of how to teach our children about money. There was a continual message in my childhood home that we couldn’t afford things. My parents were generous with what they had, but they struggled financially and expressed that often.

Emma HangingRock hunting

It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it? And such a wonderful sense of relief when (if) you find the missing item.

In this picture my daughter was trying to reach my car keys, which had fallen out of her pocket while she was clambering around at Hanging Rock. We were all greatly relieved when she retrieved them!

Emma HangingRock face

I’m hoping to retrieve my launch-plans for my newest book, Quest For Riches, which was supposed to be officially released last year but was repeatedly delayed for various reasons.

However there is never a wrong time to launch a book about financial literacy for teenagers! (Or for adults, if it comes to that…) The need for better financial management is URGENT, and increasingly so as our digital currency and hole-in-the-wall practices confuse young people about the nature of money.

Since writing this book I’ve discovered that Australia has one of the highest levels of household debt in the world. So stand by for your invitation to the official launch of QUEST FOR RICHES – Four teenagers discover the keys to wealth and prosperity in May this year.

QFR 3D cover

The four teenagers represent the four ‘money personalities’, so when they are offered a school trip to India in Part I of the book, each one responds according to his or her ‘type’ - one saves methodically, one expects parents to pay, one assumes he can’t afford to go, etc. 

In Part II they come to grips with the extremes of wealth and poverty that they encounter in India. This is where the book explores wealth in the form of rich life experiences.

In Part III they return home and discover that each teenager’s family is dealing with some sort of financial challenge, and they learn a number of practical lessons about money management, especially the importance of saving and the danger of debt and credit.

QUEST FOR RICHES is a collaboration between me and life coach Camilla Mendoza, who first came to me with the idea for a novel to accompany her ‘Money Mastery For Teens’ workshop a few years ago. Camilla is based in Sweden and actively working over there to interest schools in the book and workshop.

Right now it’s Global Money Week, and the focus is on youth financial literacy! Please help us empower and educate youth by sharing this information with anyone you feel would be interested. Every reader who personally introduces me to a teacher will receive a free copy of Quest For Riches! Thank you.

piggybankI was stunned and deeply troubled recently to hear about a friend’s financial circumstances. From beginning married life with a $10,000 mortgage some twenty years ago, today she and her husband are burdened by a mortgage in the hundreds of thousands for the same suburban three-bedroom unit.

love blossomsIt’s great to see so many schools proclaiming their values via big colourful posters around the campus on subjects to do with kindness and fairness and honesty and tolerance, and I have no doubt that teachers and principals repeatedly emphasise these values when they address students, but what about actual regular skill development?

‘Riches, my boy, don’t consist in having things but in not having to do something you don’t want to do, and don’t you forget it. Riches is being able to thumb your nose.’ - Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

I was at a business networking event recently when I found myself chatting with Jay, an Indian businessman who shared with me the following story: 

Jay's son had discovered that his friend received 50c for doing the dishes. After telling his mother, she asked, ‘Do you want 50c too?’ 

Mother's Day last Sunday reminded me of an article I wrote years ago about my children and the antics they were getting up to. As my youngest have just turned 18, I'm entering a whole new era now. I was a very focused mother – we home-educated as well, hence the Nina character, so mothering has always been a huge part of my life. I've also been very entrepreneurial and so never expected any empty nest syndrome at all; I was quite taken aback by a temporary feeling of purposelessness when the girls turned 18. It was almost as if my 'raison d'être' was complete. 

ballet shoesLast week I went shopping with my 16 year old twin daughters to buy new shoes for their respective hobbies: ballet pointe shoes for one daughter and soccer boots for the other. I rather loved that outing because it was such a confirmation of our trust in our kids.

Having twins brings up all sorts of issues that we don't have to consider with children that come by-one-one. In particular, their individuality. Does one deliberately put twins into different classes and hobbies, or even schools, so that they develop their individuality, or does one allow them to decide how soon they are ready to diverge?