Photo Credit: Courtesy of smckids.com
Billionaire Warren Buffet just announced a gift of more than $2.6 billion to charity. Naturally, of course, it reminded us about the incredibly weird but cool fact that the gazillionaire investor and philanthropist actually hosted a cartoon show for kids called -- wait for it -- The Secret Millionaires Club. With guest stars like Jay-Z and Shaq.
It's a little crazy, right?
In the cartoon, Buffett has a secret lair (it sounds creepy, but it's not) where he meets with kids to dispense business advice on things like the best location for a lemonade stand. The purpose is to help kids learn healthy money habits and basic business concepts right from the start, so they don’t end up making the same mistakes their parents did.
So what can kids -- and their parents -- learn from the watching the series, available on DVD and as webisodes? Here are five smart tips:
Start early. Buffett believes it’s never too soon to start teaching basic money concepts to kids. “Someone once said, ‘the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they’re too heavy to broken.’ Buffett said in an interview with Yahoo! Finance. “We’re trying to help kids develop healthy habits that will help them their whole life.”
Save little by little. If you spend money on the thing you want now, you might not have money for the things you need later. Put away a little at a time, and before long you’ll have a cushion to help you in a pinch.
Borrow with caution. If someone lends you money, they’re probably going to want interest, which means you’re really paying more money in the end. If you must borrow, have a plan to pay it back – and then make sure you do it!
Don’t cut corners. “Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” says animated Buffett. So that means not just pulling up the covers but really making your bed to earn that allowance, or making real lemonade – not the powdered stuff – if you’re going to charge a dollar a cup.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. That ginormous stuffed animal that seems so easy to win at the carnival? Think about it: if everyone could score one so easily for a dollar a chance, the game couldn’t possibly make money.