Pick up any child development book and it will state that the first five years are especially crucial for the physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development of a child. Just think, between the ages of one and two years old, a child is becoming aware of their own behavior, as well as those around them. They are eager to learn and start communicating through words as well as facial expressions. The Bible describes children as an inheritance (Psalms 127:3).
So how are we nurturing our inheritance to have an understanding and appreciation for finance and money management? I’m not talking about learning to count. I mean the value of the currency, banking, and creating a budget. This may seem like a heavy subject for a child, but the earlier children learn the value of money, its management, and how to properly invest, the stronger their ability to make sound financial decisions in the future.
Ariana Miramontes is such an example. At age 4, after watching a Girls Scout commercial on television, she told her mom she was going to be a girl scout. The fact that she had to be 5 years old didn’t stop her from beginning her training. She found a green T-shirt and yellow sash, and she went into practice mode for when she could become a girl scout.
Her parents, Ampara & Kevin Miramontes thought their future would involve sports practice, maybe a few recitals. They knew parenting would include outside influences so that their children would be well-rounded. However, a box of cookies was to have a significant impact on their children’s upbringing and on them.
Ariana has embraced every aspect of her training. The word “No” just means she has to find another way to implement any project she sets her mind to. Okay, she’s only ten years old now, however, what she has been able to accomplish pales in comparison to what some adults have yet to even envision, plan or launch. She’s masters people skills, goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and a lot more. It becomes a family affair as she has support from her mom, dad, younger brother, grandma, and cousin.
While most kids may know the difference between a $1 dollar bill, a $10 dollar bill, and even a $20 dollar bill, Ariana can spot a phony $20 and $50 dollar bill. In fact, someone tried to slip her a fake grant ($50) with no success. “Ari snapped the bill, put it up to the light, and knew it was fake” as shared by her mom, Amparo. At the age of five, she already knew how to create a basic budget. She uses her budget in determining how many cookie boxes must be sold in order to reach her personal sales goals. Each sale level offers different incentives and Ariana aims high. She knows and understands the concept of projecting higher so that she can reach her mark and she’s done so successfully for the past five years. To boot, she has a growing book of business. Ariana’s story is one of the most remarkable stories that inspire me to do more and be more. Not so many children her age, even adults have been able to accomplish what she has as we shall see in part two of this story. She knows her finances well to the point that she keeps her budget, tracking each expense diligently which is a lesson that many of us need to learn.