Successful 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.
Raising adults not children
As a young mother I had to figure it out myself. I came to the realisation that I was raising adults, not children and that became my benchmark for decision making. As an adult they would have to be self-sufficient and well-rounded people who could live and operate in the world on their own. They would require emotional intelligence and social skills and ideally, they would have a hunger for learning and be able to make and manage their own money.
Teaching through play
We often taught our children through play, so when it came to money, we used the legendary Monopoly board game. We pulled out our household bills and used the play money to show the kids how much went to bills and food, and how much was left over. From this, they understood that you had to work for your money and be wise with how you spent it.
We used to play a game at the supermarket too. Once they were able to read, I’d give them my shopping list. They had to run around and find the item but make a financial decision about the best value item to buy, which wasn‘t always the cheapest or the smallest.
Both of our children had jobs to do at home. When they were physically able to help out, they did. We had a rewards board where they could earn stars for additional help they gave around the house. The basics, such as tidying their rooms, setting the table and putting their clothes in the laundry weren’t rewarded because those contributions were required and had to be done first. Once they were completed, there was another list of additional jobs they could choose from and those jobs would earn them pocket money. I believe it’s important that children understand the basics of household contribution and are not rewarded for that. I don’t see their adult flatmates giving them a dollar every time they put a dish in the sink!
When they were about ten years old, they started earning their own money. At the time I was running a video production company. My son had an interest in video and wanted to learn how to edit. I taught him and then paid him for the work he did. He then developed a strong passion for film.
My daughter was offered a job playing with the neighbour’s child a few hours a week while the mother worked at home. She was only about ten at the time. She used to make a few dollars each time and every day she would put $2 in a jar. She would then use that money to buy something she wanted.
Needs vs wants
My husband and I taught both our kids the difference between needs and wants. We provided everything they needed but anything they wanted they had to work for and buy themselves. Understanding the difference is important. E.g.: Computers are a need these days, however, an upgrade is a want – not a need. There’s a difference between clothes that are needs and wants. Understanding this, and having to work for what you want, helps your child reduce their desire for consumerism and keeping up with their friends.
Understanding the value of money
Teaching your child to understand needs vs wants and to work for what they want, teaches them the value of money. They understand the amount of effort that goes into working to have that item. When they do, they’re less likely to purchase items just because they want them. In our current climate, this is even more valuable than when my children were young. We didn’t have the internet or social media to contend with that exacerbates the problem.
BTW, saying no is often the greatest gift you can give your child. They’ll hear it a lot as an adult and need to learn how to deal with it.
The outcome as adults
Both of our children left home in their early 20s. It was a conversation we started in their teenage years to prepare their mindset for when the time arrived. Raising adults means they need to leave home to behind their childhood leave and form their own adult views and gain independence. Interestingly, they’ve never asked me for money as adults. They’ve both achieved and worked for significant life experiences. They’ve travelled, purchased big-ticket items such as vehicles and have paid for their independent lifestyles. When they’ve worked for their dreams, we’ve always contributed but it was always a surprise. They worked for what they wanted, and our contributions were extras. Once they achieved their goal, anything we gave them was a bonus that rewarded them for their own achievements.
The difference for me is whether we’re giving them a hand up or a handout. There’s always work in Australia. I don’t know any kid with a great attitude who couldn’t get a job in a fast food restaurant or a babysitting gig. If they have a good attitude, can be on time and can hustle, they’ll always have work.
The future of work is changing
With the growth of the gig economy, young adults who can hustle and work independently across various platforms will do well. Guiding them to have an entrepreneurial mindset and the will to do whatever they do to the best of their ability will be the best gifts you can give them. My favourite game to play with them now is ‘What if?’. If they have an idea, no matter how ridiculous I think it might sound, we play ‘What if’ and explore the options and opportunities around it. With my husband and I both being entrepreneurs, our kids have lived and breathed that attitude every day.
The Room Xchange
There is also more than one way to gain access to needs and resources. Working for money is one way. You can also help out for what you need. That’s the model we’ve created at The Room Xchange. We understand that young people may not have access to the same financial opportunities that we did at that age and with the increase in living costs, your time can become your greatest asset. The Room Xchange enables people to contribute time and skills in ‘Xchange’ for food and accommodation. With good soft skills and some great life skills, they can Xchange their time and live for free. It will enable them to save around $18k a year and put the money towards something they want such as an overseas holiday, pay off student debt or buy a car.
I don’t see limits when it comes to money. I believe that if you fully prepare yourself for a project or a business idea, the money will come. There are approximately $80 trillion dollars in the world. I see money as a river that runs above my head from right to left in a downward current and always flowing. I call it the money river. If you’re well prepared, there are people with the money who will want to invest in you. That’s what I believe and that has been my experience. I have successfully raised capital for my company before and I’ll do it again. I just need to ensure I create value, believe in what I’m doing, have a great attitude and am willing to work hard.
What are your money beliefs? It’s a good question to ask yourself as whatever you believe your children are likely to follow.
Liliane’s book, Quest for Riches, is a fantastic tool to break down your money beliefs and those of your children. Once you have identified which character you are, you’ll be able to notice what you need to change.
Money is changing; currency is changing and there are now multiple ways to access money. It’s a tool to enable you to have and achieve what you want. You just have to understand it and be able to access it.
Sunday’s launch was a blast! We had a packed room, a great vibe, some compelling speakers and yummy food. Thank you to all who came to support, whether you were helping set up, or speaking, or buying books – or whether you were a supporter in the research phase! I am very grateful.
We began the event with a few sobering statistics:
- Half of all American adults have more credit card debt than savings.
- 25% have no savings at all.
- Only 15% of the population is on track to fund even one year of retirement.
- In Australia the car park of Chadstone Shopping Centre is the third largest in Australia after Melbourne and Sydney Airports…
The cause of the lack of savings is probably indicated by that last statistic. Clearly we are a dedicated consumer society – and as the wealthy know, those who prioritise consumables over things that increase in value are unlikely to ever experience great wealth.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development claims that many broad financial concepts are already established by the time we are seven years old, and that financial literacy is especially low among those aged 15-24, so financial education in youth is essential!
Be inspired to change your money habits, whether for your benefit or for your children’s benefit. Watch – and please share! – the Quest For Riches book trailer and help us get the message out that financial education is critical. [Also posted on Instagram (@lilianegraceofficial) and Facebook.]
- Ludwina Dautovic, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of The Room Xchange, who gave some compelling practical financial-parenting tips;
- Edwina Ricci, Wellbeing Educator for 25 schools in the Maroondah district, who spoke about the role of financial education in wellbeing; and
- Ken Allender, General Manager of the Lancefield and Romsey Community Bank, who was very complimentary about the value of Quest For Riches in establishing good money habits.
Thank you to my India-research ‘informers’:
- Mela Joy of Touch of Spirit Tours
- Himanshi Luhar-Munshaw of Beacon Holidays and Foodie Trails
- Carmel Scaringi
- Shyam Burman (of Primary Toys)
- Rose Witherow
- Surya Coape-Smith
Thank you to those who helped at the launch: Albert Tapper, Carl Huybers, Josie Ruberto, Maxine and Ken Allender, Anita Bentata, Candy Russell, Cecilia Whiting, Dave Gillman, and anyone else I’ve missed who helped on the day! You are loved and appreciated.
Thank you to all who attended, who bought books, who are spreading the word…
And thank you to Camilla Mendoza, of Money Mastery For Teens, for asking me to write this book. (More on Camilla next time.)
Watch the trailer! (And click the 'Read More' to see more pictures from the launch.)
The four teenagers in Quest For Riches head to India on a school trip. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do the same – although if my Mastery Club/Hidden Order/Greek Islands experience is any indication, it won’t be long! – so I sought out Indians and people who have spent sustained time in India to guide me.
You’ll have an opportunity to meet some of those generous people at the launch on 30th June, but meanwhile I want to give them a big shout-out here:
- Thank you to Himanshi Munshaw-Luhar of Beacon Holidays and Foodie Trails for assisting me in developing the school’s India-tour itinerary and for suggesting the homestay families. (Whilst in India, the four teenagers each have a homestay experience with a traditional Indian family. These hosts range from royalty to suburban families to peasants, and are all inspired by real people.)
- Thank you to Mela Joy, Founder of Touch of Spirit Tours, who sent me lots of photos and notes from her travels that were immensely helpful, especially for some of the public transport parts of the students’ journey;
- Thank you to Rose Witherow, who shared many colourful detailed stories that helped me to give my characters and locations substance;
- Thank you to Carmel Scaringi, a friend who has returned to India, especially its ashrams, for several years, and shared some extraordinary ‘spirituality stories’ that I incorporated;
- Thank you to Surya/Guy Coape-Smith, a friend who has been living in India for a few years and provided an excellent sounding board and authenticity-checker;
- Thank you to Shyam Burman, Director of Primary Toys, who I met at a networking event and who then kindly invited me for lunch and to answer questions about India. Shyam’s ‘hair’ suggestion is incorporated in the book…
These pictures are of me being interviewed on Malayalam TV by Shyama Sasidharan, who was introduced to me by Siddharth Suresh of The Indian Sun. I’ll share the link to this interview as soon as it’s available. You might also see Shyama and her team of cameramen at the launch…
on Sunday June 30th, 2.30-4.30 pm
at 4Dverse Gallery, 118A Carlisle Street St Kilda East (upstairs, above Vegelicious)
Guest speakers who will have 5 minutes each to share a perspective on youth and money!
Delicious refreshments! Warmth! Laughter! Entertainment! Relaxation...
& the opportunity to buy an entertaining novel that will boost the financial literacy of your whole family.
• I should also thank Google and Trip Advisor…
at 1/118 Carlisle Street East St Kilda (upstairs, above Vegelicious)
from 2.30 to 4.30 pm
Delicious (Indian-themed) refreshments will be supplied.
I hope to see you and your family, friends, children, students... on Sunday 30th June for a warm and stimulating afternoon.
If you’ve been thinking things like:
- • ‘I really should pay more attention to my finances’
- • ‘I wish I knew how to manage money better’
- • ‘Why is so-and-so doing so much better than me when we’ve come from the same sort of background?’ or
- • ‘How do I get my kids to understand the importance of saving/the danger of plastic/the financial risks of keeping up with the Joneses?
you will be delighted to hear that my novel teaching financial literacy to teenagers (and their families) is finally OFFICIALLY LAUNCHING!!!!!
Quest For Riches – 4 teenagers discover the keys to wealth and prosperity gives your kids/family/students the opportunity to effortlessly increase their financial intelligence while reading a novel.
Stand by for your invitation and meanwhile please hold Sunday 30th June, 2.30 – 4.30 in your diary for a blast of an event!
We have three guest speakers lined up who have either achieved impressive results financially or have a unique window on how Australian families are doing monetarily (and the little things they can do to make a big difference).
You can expect the usual delicious wholesome refreshments – with an Indian theme! – and the opportunity to warm up a winter’s afternoon mingling with like-minded people, learning, laughing and supporting a worthy venture.
This statement was made recently by a passionate speaker during a current affairs interview. It doesn’t matter who she is – she gave voice to a popular point of view. But I disagree.
I think the reason that statement is made is because it seems to justify bullying and people hate that idea, understandably. We don’t want to align ourselves with those who deliberately set out to hurt others.
But there’s a word missing in the above statement, and that word makes all the difference. The missing word is ‘always’: ‘Bullying is not always character-building.’
In other words, our response to the event determines if it will be character-building or not. If we choose to be defeated by the event, our character will not grow; if we choose to deal with it in a more useful manner, our character will grow. It’s as simple as that. Nothing is either good or bad; it’s our response that defines it. Every event is neutral until we place a meaning on it.
Some people will object. They’ll say that cruelty and aggression and violence are always and only evil. But if you can extract some good, some insight, something positive from that bad event, it’s not purely evil.
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl is probably the definitive text on this topic: if you can survive a concentration camp and come out of it as a richer human being, then the event itself is not the whole truth about it. As this famous quote states:
"We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
Viktor Frankl spent three years in concentration camps and lost his parents, his brother, and his pregnant wife. If anyone has the right to make the claim that a hellish experience can be enriching, it is he.
His conclusion was that life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. If we have a purpose we can live through even the most horrendous experiences, and come out the other end not as a cripple but as a stronger, more compassionate human being.
Apparently one-quarter of young Australians (those aged 14-25) are bullied;
36% of those are bullied online;
16% turn to drugs and alcohol;
23% are in the care of a GP or mental health professional;
six men under 25 years commit suicide each day.
But more people are speaking out. More effort is being made to understand and address these issues. And all of those energies and efforts are the ‘good’ that come out of the ‘bad’.
It seems to me that an important distinction needs to be made between process and outcome. The process of being bullied and dealing with that experience is unpleasant – for sure. But if the right attitudes and actions are taken to it, the outcome can be positive.
A young woman on the same current affairs programs said that when the bullying took the form of writing (online), it was ‘terrifying’ and ‘damaging for a long time’. But the terror and the damage are not inherent in the bullying; they occur in the response.
I deeply believe that Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills need to be taught in schools as a core curriculum subject from Prep to Year 12 because EVERYONE needs those skills, whatever their particular interests and vocational direction. This subject should be taught several times a week. It should take precedence over most other subjects because without these skills we can’t properly maximise our potential.
The widely respected and controversial public thinker Jordan Peterson made the statement in one of his podcasts that we are all responsible for the Columbine shootings. In particular, he said, those who bullied the shooters over the four years prior are also responsible for the deaths of all students and staff in that incident.
We will not resolve the issues of bullying, workplace harrassment, domestic violence or even terrorism if we play ‘Goodies and Baddies’. To say that all bullies are bad and the bullied are innocent victims is a mistake and not useful. What is needed here is skill-development – for both sides of the equation. And a big dose of honesty, since we’ve all played both roles.
Bullying CAN be character-building; it’s up to us to determine its effect.
Please do comment (below) and share (with attribution) if you feel this blog would be useful to others. NB Picture courtesy Visual Hunt.
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!
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.
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.
Last night my husband had a dream about a man whose life goes bad as a consequence of choosing hard drugs. We sat on the couch this morning talking about it, and our conversation brought up a memory of a recent news item about a police officer who had his head repeatedly bashed into the ground after he tried to stop violence at a drug-influenced party. My husband remarked that probably the attacker would get away with a reduced sentence because his lawyer’s defence was that he was ‘on ice’.
You can just see where this is going. Ice (and other hard drugs) will become the new insanity plea. But why is it okay for a police officer to go to work expecting to do his job in service of the community, and instead have his head bashed into the ground?
Perhaps it’s time for crimes like this to be assessed on the basis of prior choices, on the basis of a series of past choices rather than one drug-induced ‘bad moment’. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to view that ‘bad moment’ as being the natural consequence of a series of poor choices, for which the person is accountable, rather than viewing the chooser as the ‘victim’ of his or her choices.
‘Same same’ for all of us. Being interested in health, I immediately find myself pointing to the pattern where people choose to indulge ‘pleasure now’ and then become upset when their bodies and health ‘betray them’ in later years; surely that later ill health is just a consequence of prior choices? Should we feel sorry for the person who is experiencing a heart incident after twenty or forty years of over-indulgence or unhealthy practices, or do we take a more neutral position? Do we instead say, ‘That’s not surprising’?
It seems cruel but life is a cause-effect game. Nothing comes out of nowhere; everything has seeds that are rooted somewhere, and healing requires some degree of responsibility.
When I left my 29-year relationship so suddenly it probably looked like I had treated my long-time partner badly, but that decision was some twenty-five years in the making; it was the outcome of lots of little choices over those years. He had made choices not to create a shared vision for our family, not to participate in various family activities, not to invest more in our relationship… But because there was also a lot of love and affection and honesty between us, those ‘not to’ choices got lost in the tide of events. It wasn’t until life landed a surprise new man at my feet that I had to weigh and evaluate all the moments of the previous twenty-nine years in order to make my decision.
This is an uncomfortable blog to write, and perhaps to read as well. We are biased towards being kind and nice, and towards avoiding confrontation and conflict; but often that means we avoid responsibility, which is one of the most enriching states of mind that we can enter.
So how best can we support each other in being responsible, in making the choices that best serve us and the people around us? We will not suddenly, magically, create a world in which everyone makes the best choices all the time; but we can create educational models in which life skills are prioritised. (My old hobby horse.)
We can insist that our schools prioritise life skills such as communication and conflict resolution skills and financial management; we can expose our children to the real-life stories of people who made poor choices and people who made good choices; we can rank this sort of education even more highly than other subject areas simply because everyone needs to communicate and everyone needs to be responsible for their choices, no matter what their vocation.
Let’s give our children a fighting chance against the scourge of unhappy consequences. Let’s empower them with the sort of education and support that enables them to make the small everyday choices that lead them in the direction of an inspiring life.
Yesterday was my first wedding anniversary. You might recall my blogs of a couple of years ago about meeting a new man, a dancer, in the wake of writing my first novel for adults, Wanted: Greener Grass. My character’s life in that book was turned upside down, and so was mine. I ended up leaving my much-loved partner of 29 years to be with this new man. I moved in with him only three months after meeting him, and we married on the 25th February 2018.
To begin with, my ex was extraordinarily supportive. He loved me and so he wanted what was best for me, and if this new man met my needs more completely than him, I deserved to have the new man. I was blown away by his love and generosity. The new man in my life was stunned as well. Others around us admired him, and probably wondered how I could leave such an extraordinary human being.
As the wheels turned and my decision evolved from idea into reality, as we began to separate our possessions and make practical arrangements, the pain of this new development bit hard. My ex experienced anger and sadness and regret. His initial generosity was swamped by waves of grief. He wanted to turn back time. He reminded me of what we had and how rich it was – he wanted me to decide that leaving would be a pointless pursuit of greener grass, since we both knew that there is no such thing: every life option holds a balance of positive and negative.
But I also knew that the core of our issue was that we wanted different things. He wanted a slower more relaxed life; I wanted more adventure and growth and challenge, and the new man shared those desires. And I’d experienced so many little signs, little impulses, little intuitions that were calling me to make the move that I felt I had to trust them.
My trust was repaid tenfold, a hundredfold. I know now that my leap into the unknown, a leap that seemed so risky and even cruel two years ago, was actually guided and right, at some deep, mysterious level. Not only am I deeply fulfilled in this new relationship, but my ex has just met a woman who deeply nourishes him.
The beauty of this tricky and testing journey is that my ex and I have retained our loving and warm relationship, and our family unit is as close as it ever was. It’s expanding now, as new partners enter it, but all of the relationships are solid and caring and open-minded.
The irony is that my ex is now embracing adventure in a way that he resisted during our years together. It’s funny how life delivers these twists and turns. But after my initial hurt I felt glad for him; I certainly have no need to indulge in resentment because my own life is now so full of love and challenge and growth that I am completely content.
Of course it’s not yet the end of the story. So much more will happen before we truly know ‘the end’. But it’s a development that encourages me more than ever to trust myself and to remind you to trust yourself, your inner promptings and callings, your intuitions, your deep desires. They just might be the kernel of vast and magnificent change.
We all know that the internet is a two-sided beast: it’s just fabulous to be able to connect with people all around the world, to uncover news and information that might otherwise be difficult or even impossible to access, to make unexpected friends and find new clients…
AND it’s an overwhelming pressure to stay up with all the e-information, to not be constantly comparing our lives with the golden lives of others (or at least, the golden bits they share), to resist nasty comments if we’re the subject of cyber-bullying, to not get sucked into buying everything we don’t need because of the exciting offers that land in our inbox, etc. etc. And I’m just scratching the surface of the pros and cons!
The darker side of Facebook loomed closer as we began to recognise those pressures and learnt about privacy and security leaks and other significant issues. The Boomers among us, for example, are concerned that our young people are growing up in an exceedingly public era where everything they think and feel and do is announced to the world, whether their big successes and failures, or what they ate for breakfast.
So what could be the silver lining on that constant public exposure?
Society gives us lots of messages about laws and rules:
- we’re supposed to obey the laws of the land and parent and school and workplace rules,
- we’re warned of the dangers of anarchy,
- we are increasingly ‘politically correct’…
but we are often inspired and encouraged by those who break society’s ‘silly rules’ or who live by a higher more empowering set of principles.
Last week I ‘interviewed’ ‘Law abiding, Rule breaking, Fear conquering, Future Creating', Georgia Ellis about her recent experience of creating her future.
Toward the end of last year I began thinking about recommitting to the old ‘Top 6 or 7 For Success’ formula. I’ve heard it so many times: all the successful people make a list of their top priorities and then do those first, before tackling anything else, and that’s how they are so successful.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Easy, even. But I have to confess that I was often bamboozled. What counted as a priority? I mean, obviously a top priority is revenue-generating work, and then there are the marketing tasks that don’t generate anything immediately but are important, and then there are writing tasks and phone calls and emails and working on the business instead of in it and walking the dog and eating well and meditating/visualising and family needs and so many other important things.
These ‘soft lens photos’ are of me presenting at Rosemary McCallum’s ‘Christmas Spectacular’ a few weeks ago.
BIG THANK YOU to Rosemary for inviting me back to share my story and books. I felt very at home among her clients and friends and followers, who all share my values on growth and fun – and we broke a record in sales!
This lady has such a big, faithful, devoted following that she must be doing something right. As my NLP teacher used to say, ‘Success leaves clues’…
If you’d like to experience her wisdom, playfulness and grounded guidance, consider attending the Introductory evening to her Course In Life Mastery in January.