With over a million copies sold in two years, Scott Papes’ title, The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need, is the biggest-selling nonfiction title in Australia.
The influence that this book has had can be seen everywhere, including across Gippsland, where you can spot certain bank cards labelled with the words ‘everyday expenses’ or ‘splurge’.
Unlike many books in this genre, Scott’s book is not about wealth creation or millionaires, but rather showing everyday people how to take control of their finances no matter their situation. With a feeling of control and financial security, people can feel empowered to tread their own path and live a purposeful life.
This year, Scott released a second book The Barefoot Investor for Families. Seemingly hearing so many of us crying ‘I wish I had been taught this when I was a kid, Scott has written a book to equip parents with the tools to prepare the next generation with financial literacy. He uses the same approach as the first book: simple, practical advice that is easy to read and understand, with real-life stories scattered throughout.
Without a doubt, parents have the greatest influence on their children. But with parents already feeling stretched and busy, Scott knows that any strategy for good parenting needs to be simple and doable, or we won’t stick to it.
Scott’s simple strategy begins with allocating kids three age-appropriate jobs, three jars, one family organised meal per week with all family members present, and three minutes to check the kids’ jobs sheets and pay them for each job completed. The family stories shared at each meal help strengthen the lessons learned and bring families closer together, and the three jobs and jars act as a technique to teach values and how to use the money.
The first jar, ‘Splurge’, teaches about value and how to use money through everyday spending. The second jar, ‘Smile’, teaches goal-setting and delayed gratification as the child uses this jar to save up for something big. The third jar, ‘Give’, teaches kindness and empathy as the money in this jar goes to those in need.
Scott then goes on with ten extra lessons. ‘The Barefoot Ten’, as he calls them, is to help parents to equip their children with life skills for when they leave home. The lessons include setting up a savings account, learning how to cook, volunteering in the community, getting a part-time job once they’re 15 or older, and saving for a first home.
Scott has done all the hard work by providing downloadable sheets, summary pages for quick referencing, and question and answer pages to make sure we have all the information we need when we need it.
The life skills and financial security gained from implementing the strategies in this book will give children the power to set and achieve their goals, giving the next generation the freedom to tread their own path.
This book and three jars could be the best gift you give yourself and your children this year.
Scott’s book The Barefoot Investor for Families is available to buy through Reader’s Emporium, Traralgon / readersemporium.com.au.