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April 19, 2022

160. Raising Kids that are Smart Not Spoiled with Chad Willardson

The 7 Money Skills Kids Must Master Before Leaving the Nest

The 7 Money Skills Kids Must Master Before Leaving the Nest



Chad helps people enjoy life by removing their stress about money.

He is the founder of Pacific Capital, creator of the Financial Life Inspection, author of the best-selling books "Stress-Free Money" and "Smart, Not Spoiled” and co-owner of multiples businesses.










My kids have done some jobs where they worked for one of my other businesses, where they were getting paid $10 an hour. And they have experienced that. And then they've also worked jobs where they created something and did some sales. They did some sales at July 4 Worth Community event and made way more in 30 minutes than they could have made in three different Saturdays of work at the other business. And so they've gotten a taste for what is my time worth? And how do I want to earn money?


Welcome, everybody. I am excited to have back on our show, Chad Willardson. He is the author of Smart Not Spoiled. He is a really amazing entrepreneur, doing a lot of things. A family guy really walks his talk. And I'm so excited to have him here. Thanks again for joining us today.


Chad, thanks for having me, Wade. Excited to be here.


Absolutely, man. So Chad helps people enjoy life by helping them remove their stress about money. He's the founder of Pacific Capital, creator of The Financial Life Inspection and author of two best selling books, Stress Free Money and Smart Not Spoiled, which we're going to talk about today. And he's the co owner of multiple businesses. So what I want to do is first, just Chad, would you share a little bit about your story growing up? And specifically, since this book, this focus is about helping our kids learn how to handle money and deal with it.


Maybe share a little bit about your story growing up, what you learned that served you and maybe what you had to figure out on your own.


So this book, people ask me, why did you write this book? And I feel like it's a topic that I wonder about both as a parent and as a financial expert. And it's how do we teach kids to be smart and not spoiled? So growing up, I was the oldest of four kids and we grew up in a pretty middle income household. We definitely were not wealthier or upper class at all. We weren't out on the streets, but we just kind of got along and were able to do what we did.


We didn't go out to eat very much. It was too expensive. I didn't go to the summer camps or the sports camps my friends went to. It was too expensive. But at the same time, we had enough food on the table, and I was grateful for it. But I didn't learn much about money. And as soon as my career post College, I realized that this was my calling. This is something I really wanted to get into. I realized that there was this big gap of what do we teach kids?


And when do we teach kids? And how do we teach kids about money? And what do they need to know to help them prepare to be successful adults? And I have figured with my own kids it's like, if I'm not teaching my kids good things about money, then probably nobody is because I'm the one who's supposed to be the advice giving expert. And so I didn't learn too much. I remember my mom balancing her checkbook at the grocery store and using coupons, and it was important to look for sales.


But when it comes to investing or taxes or loans or budgeting or things like that, I didn't have anyone really counseling me or guiding me on that. And so really, my quest was to create something that became like a family resource guide with lots of stories and examples and ideas that a family or a parent could just say, oh, here's something I could talk to my kid about this week that's going to help prepare them to be more financially thoughtful and prepared for the future. So that's really the Genesis of why I wrote Smart, not spoiled, awesome.


And I know your background. You do a lot of money management. You help, in fact, Shark Tank little bit. If you don't mind your background about your business because I think it's relevant. I'm aware of it, but just nurses.


Yeah, my primary business is Pacific Capital, and we help entrepreneurs and families in all things financial, making money decisions as a family, as a business owner, a side business that could grow into something that's way bigger than this is a financial app that I'm co creating with a bunch of really bright people around the country called Gravy Stack. It's coming out in 2021. We're looking to disrupt the banks on their debit card for kids idea. It's going to be a lot about financial literacy, teaching entrepreneurship in a gamified, fun way for kids typically ages.


I think it's going to be targeting ages ten to 18, but that's something I'm really excited about. I'm a coowner of myfirstsale. Com, which is teaching entrepreneurship to kids. We have some eight year olds and nine year olds who have started their own business through our website and are making five to $600 a month, which just instills a ton of confidence these little kids doing their thing. So I'm really about financial literacy and financial management, though. My business, my Pacific Capital business, serves a very small niche clientele of higher income, higher net worth entrepreneurs and families.


I'm doing other things that is reaching out to just a broader community that can really help anyone at any level. That's XYZ goals.


Awesome. Thank you. And one of the things that's been interesting to watch what you do is a few things you do the social media. Well, it's hard to balance that concept of okay. Hey, I'm doing pretty well, but I want to be bragging, and I want to share with people what's working, and I want to be humble. You had a very simple quote or conversation and a dedication to your kids. We said it's not easy to balance prosperity with humility. I think that's something certainly, at least in the North American culture we struggle with because we're told if you talk too much about it, you're bragging right now, you're just money obsessed versus no.


Actually, there's part of this. And you mentioned a couple of things. I'll just throw them in real quick. The money does not make you who you are, but it amplifies who you are. It's only means to an end. And people are more important to money. And this is the part of the dedication that Chad writes to his kids. How have you found as a father and as a parent, that has been now that your kids are growing up with more than what you had? And how are you balancing that with that whole thing that we, as entrepreneurs, struggle with?


Okay, gosh. I came in hungry, and in my case, I was raised by a successful entrepreneur, as you were, but at the same time or a successful businessman in the case of your father, but that balance of okay, well, how much do I give? How much do I not give and what serves them and what perhaps maybe weakens them if we give too much.


It is something I think about, honestly, daily, it is honestly a daily thought of mine. My business is around money decisions. And so it's always on my mind. And thinking about how not to ruin my kids is difficult. We've erred on the side of overly strict, I would say in many cases, but we've tried to make them teaching lessons. I mean, the kids benefit big time that we like to travel. My wife and I travel a lot, so they go on nice vacations. That's just something they go on.


But they understand. I believe they understand that that's not typical or normal. And once they're out of the house, they're going to be paying for their own stuff. But when it comes to just daily living and allowances, today's, my daughter's 17th birthday, and she asked yesterday if she could get her nails done if she could go get her nails done. So when she goes out with her friends that she's got her nails done for her birthday, I said, sure, go ahead. Now she's paying for that herself, and she had to earn money on her own outside of me.


So I want them to learn that it's not just a bank of mommy and Daddy to pay for everything. And so we've never paid our kids an allowance. Our kids don't have an allowance. They don't know what an allowance is. They've got to earn money. So they've got a completely different program. So I guess it's not about them being desperately hungry because they know that our family does well. But I think the independence can be taught. And I think the mindset can be taught, and I think they can still struggle, and it's important for them to struggle, because if they don't, then they're not going to grow those same muscles that I had to grow from the struggle that I had.


I moved out of the house at 18. I went to College and my wife and I got married very young. I was 22 and she was 20. And as soon as the day I got married, my dad was like, I'm never paying for anything again. It's like you're on your own for everything. And at the time, I was making six point, $0.25 an hour at a marketing call center, a survey center, and my wife was working, trying to find a job to work part time. And we lived in an apartment that was 425 sqft.


And I make a joke that I could vacuum the apartment without unplugging the little vacuum. I could go around the whole place and vacuum the whole place and I'd be done and then unplug it. So it's like that struggle was good for us. And I don't want to take away the struggle from my kids either. So those are some of the ideas and the principles that I'm trying to share through this book.


That's awesome. Yeah. It's always a challenge in our case with me. I'd say I have a lot of free time, and so sometimes kids walk in and they say, oh, it's Friday when you're at the beach. It's like, yeah, but I didn't start here. I got here eventually. And it takes a while. You mentioned that many people only talk about money when they're arguing or upset, right? What does that do with children and their ability to then have that conversation? Does it become scary? Do they avoid it?


How does that play out?


Both. I think it's extremely damaging. And I've fallen into this trap before I've made these mistakes. I'm not speaking about other people's mistakes. I'm speaking about my own mistakes. My wife and I have had arguments about money stuff, and I've realized like, this is not healthy for the kids to associate money with something that's negative or contentious, or you don't want to attract it into your life because it's going to turn into family issues. And so I think the way we talk about money has a major impact on kids, even as young as four and five years old because they notice and they feel that energy around the money conversation.


So we're creating a blueprint that will last them a lifetime.


That's awesome. I know that's one of the things people joke about what the PDD song, more money, more problems. And if you've not experienced that. One of the comments you made earlier in the book of Money is an amplifier. And I was blessed to see this in watching my father's success of the people that got more money, and unfortunately, it did not make them happier because they were not happier people. And, of course, happy people. And to start with and of course, the people who were doing well, they got to enjoy more things.


I want to pivot to a little bit is more now some of the content of the book. But what I want to do is if you don't mind, is I was looking through a lot of the content. A lot of this reminded me of things because I've had now lived long enough to know these things, mess up on some of these things and have to revisit some of these. And I thought every one of them also applied to the entrepreneurs. So I'm going to really quickly if it's cool, list the seven things in the book and then ask you to comment on them.


So number one is invest early and often number two borrow wisely. Number three know their cash flow. Four feel comfortable talking about taxes. Five learn to earn, which I thought was so huge from that entrepreneurial angle. Six protect who and what they care about, which is a lot about risk management, insurance and then giving generously. What have you found has been perhaps the most powerful lesson for the kids and what has been perhaps the easiest that they have grasped.


I think the most powerful lessons would come from the Learn to Earn chapter about entrepreneurship and the Give Generously chapter about just being charitable and not hoarding and keeping everything for themselves. They learn to earn chapter. I think it's been hammered home in real life situations. As I shared in the book. It's like my kids have done some jobs where they worked for one of my other businesses, where they were getting paid $10 an hour, and they've experienced that. And then they've also worked jobs where they created something and did some sales.


They did some sales at a July 4 community event and made way more in 30 minutes than they could have made in three different Saturdays of work at the other business. And so they've gotten a taste for what is my time worth. And how do I want to earn money? And I think that's a great experience for kids. I think it's extremely important, which is why I'm involved in the Gravy Stack app. The Divine Generously chapter, I think has come the easiest because once you see the benefits of giving and you have that feeling and that experience, it's something that you don't want to stop doing.


And so we've tried to make it a point to really that's one way where I think we've tried to fight the pride of prosperity is to be a giving family and do a lot of things where the kids are sacrificing and giving themselves. And it's not just me writing a check to a charity. It's like we're actually doing things together. We're serving food at the homeless shelter, we're wrapping presents and we're giving out the Turkey meals at a place for Thanksgiving. We're doing service projects when we travel.


That's something I write about in the book. It's like you have to do things like that for the kids to believe it that it's meaningful. You have to actually give time and effort themselves. It's not going to be the same if mom and dad just donate to charity and tell the kids about it, they're not going to feel that. So I would say those are the two concepts that I think have really stuck out to me and the kids. Awesome.


Thanks. I think those are so huge. I look at as somebody who grew up with somebody in a family where we were doing well and dad is a successful entrepreneur. Mum has always given us kind of thoughts and ideas about how the world works and our overall state abundance wise in the world to be aware of where you are. And it's even still at this day. Sometimes for me, I have to remember this whole thing about I'm doing this not just for me, because when it's only focused on me, even as an entrepreneur, it gets very difficult for me to charge the premium prices to charge what I'm worth all those different things, because somewhere there's this voice saying, yeah, but somebody is doing worse off.


And yet when I'm centered and when I am able to say, okay, no, wait. If I have this money, here's what I'm going to do with this. And here's how it's going to benefit. And I might not be able to as in your business model. You mentioned you target a certain part of the population and you might not be able to help everybody with that business model, but maybe with another business model, you help them. You share a little about that because I think for the entrepreneurs listening, that's one of the toughest things is this whole dynamic of I want to help the world and my work could help the world.


But sometimes the world doesn't have the money to pay me. And then so I find myself back in this. Okay, I'm targeting the people with money. Does that mean I'm selling out? Does that mean or are those the people that are serious that I want to invest time with? And I'd love to hear your perspective on that, because I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with that in their charging prices and how they do things and how they balance that.


I don't feel a hesitation on being a premium service provider in our industry because my retention are pure. Like you said, I really believe that money in the hands of good people is a good thing. And so the more that we can earn and the more abundance we can create for our employees and team members and clients, and the more I can do charitable work and do good for the community and for the world at large. That just drives me to want to be more successful. So I think the hesitation might come if we have those money blueprints that money is the root of all evil instead of the love of money.


And the lust for money. But really, money is just a means to an end. And so if we want to do good things in the world, there was a family that we found out about in our community. The dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and he lost his job. And they have four little kids, and they're really struggling. And someone reached out to me confidentially and said, hey, they really need help. And this new school year starting, they're coming back to school from Kova in California, and they're really stressed out about they can't afford any supplies or backpacks or any of the stuff for their kids.


They're out of work. And so I said, all right, let's take this on. And I talked to the family and said, what do we want to do? What are we going to do to help this family who is struggling? And so we decided we're going to go to the store and we're not just going to get the required supplies. We're going to try to go above and beyond and really set this family up for an awesome school year and fill up the fridge and do all kinds of cool stuff.


And we went as a family. The seven of us and went around the store, filled up stuff in the carts that we thought they would benefit from. And we went and delivered it. And the mom, like, my kids were there and they delivered the stuff to each kid. So it's going kid to kid, right? And the mom is in tears. Dad doesn't speak a lot of English, but my older boys know Spanish. And so they were talking to them. And it was like this cool experience, you walk away from that.


And it's like, I don't feel guilty earning a lot of money. I feel this is a cool opportunity to find and bless and uplift and strengthen people who struggle. And so that's kind of how I balance it. As long as I'm continually looking for opportunities and saying yes to those opportunities, then I'm going to continue to aim for growth, because the more good we can do, the more that we grow, the more good we can do.


That's really awesome. I remember I was studying some of the work Deepak Chopra's work, and he talks about the difference between affluence and abundance. And he says, look, if you just get abundance and you hoard it, that's not really a good thing. But I guess apparently the word affluence comes from a Latin word that means to flow. So you keep the money flowing. So kind of the difference between the person says, I want to earn a billion dollars and circulate that and do all sorts of things versus the person says, Well, I want to get a billion dollars and put it in an account and that has my name on it.


You hear all the ego in there and the stuff that you and I have both seen in the parts of the country where we live. And there's no anger here. It's just like you're missing it. You're doing so well in this one dimension, but there's all these other dimensions of life. And when you circulate it, I remember somebody once explained to me, look, if you put a check to a charity on autopay, you miss out on something when you write the check or when you deliver the check or when you there's a part of it.


That's what you want to call it Karmic, or how the universe works or how God works. Or I'm not smart enough to know the answer to that. But I think it was just something that difference of flowing it to say, yes, I want to circulate billions of dollars. The idea of if you want to be a billionaire, help a billion people kind of a thing, as opposed to my account somewhere over here, which just has that energy of that feels like addiction. It feels like it's not going to go to a good place.


That's a good point. I've never heard that. That's good.


I love. And I follow your social media. And you really are one of the few people that does it well and walks that line. My brother is similar to show. Hey, not apologize. We're doing good stuff. I'm teaching my kids good things and there's abundance. And whatnot how would you say that's impacted your kids? Because now and I've seen some of what I think I can see. I haven't met your kids in person, but I've seen what you're up to. How would you say that's impacted their decisions and how they lead in their lives?


I believe my kids have more confidence, knowing that we don't believe in a scarcity mindset. I believe that they see the opportunities. It's funny. I dropped off Donuts at my daughter's class this morning before work and had a little candle, and I was buying the Donuts. And literally, the lady at the donut shop was just putting the Donuts in the boxes. And when I swiped my card, of course, it asked for a tip. And the options were like, 20%, 25% or 30%. And in my head I kind of laughed.


And I was like, Man, you just put Donuts in a box like, you want a 30% tip for putting Donuts. It's not like you Wade something and served it at the restaurant table. But I was like, what the heck? And I just tipped her. And in my mind as I was walking away, I thought, as you talk about flow, that kind of not holding on to say, Well, I'm not going to give this person $5. I'm not going to tip them. They don't deserve a tip.


It's like that mentality of, you know what? I am going to tip freely. I'm going to be a good tipper. I'm going to be generous with that stuff. And the kids see that. And I think it gives them confidence to say, we're not afraid to run out. If we run out, we're going to figure out a way to get back on top. And I think that's the confidence builder that kids can see. It's like we aren't afraid to run out. We're not going to be reckless.


I'm not out there buying toys. I don't even own any toys, but we're going to have a good life, and we're going to enjoy stuff. And we're going to believe in that flow and that abundance that it's going to come back to us.


That's awesome. Yeah. I think that's so huge, the energy behind how we do things and so much to that. So the other part that I just love is the invest early and often. And I'm old enough to say, I've done part of this, right. And I did part of this wrong. And yet that example, we've heard it before. What if you double a Penny every day versus when your kids started seeing that or the kids that you work with? How does the math, specifically, the compound interest, that lesson.


How does that land for them? Because that was one of the ones that really for me was like, Whoa, this is a big deal.


Yeah. My son Pierce, who's 14, probably a year ago. It really clicked for him, and he just started thinking like, Wait, dad, so you can get to a point where your investments are paying you enough to cover your bills. And then you can really have more freedom about what you want to do for work, because then you're not stuck. And I was like, That's exactly right. But the earlier you start, and the more consistently you invest, the more that will grow to. And it's like planting a tree.


You can't plant the tree when you're 60, you can't plant the seeds and just dump a ton of water on it and hurry up the process. You have to start sooner. And so we did some little calculations, and I said, look, you're 13 years old. If you invest in and save this much every month for the next 30 years, here's how much you can grow, too. And it just blew his mind. And so he was very interested. And he's been asking tons of questions. And he read my first book, Stress Free Money.


Now he's reading smart, not spoiled. And I think when kids can see the possibilities, that's what gets them excited. It costs way less to invest early than it does to wait until you're older.


Absolutely. Well, dude, if you've got your kids reading your books, I know that's a tough one. That is not a good one. Anybody who's not an author thinks it's easy to get your kids to read your books. They will read just about almost anything else. Oh, people pay you. People want to hear you talk, you talk. If you got your son reading your book, that in and of itself is the testimonial right there, man, that says, you know what you're doing.


There you go. All right.


So thank you so much for what you shared with us today, Chad. In the end, for those people listing the show notes, we're going to list the links. What wisdom would you leave people with? As far as if a person wants to just start? They haven't done much. They're trying to get their kids engaged. What's the first thing you'd suggest somebody does to get off on the right foot with your kids?


I'd say the first thing is to begin being intentional about having money conversations as a family. I think talking to your kids about money is the first step. We often don't know what to say. So we say nothing. And the problem is they're still observing us. They're still watching us, swipe our card at the grocery store, or click the Amazon button in a box shows up at the porch. So they're learning about money, whether we like it or not. And my goal is to make it as easy as possible for parents, mentors, coaches, grandparents whomever to just start having those funny conversations with young people and make it a comfortable topic, allow them to ask questions, hopefully in the book.


And like I said, it's an audiobook. It's cheap on the ebook, the Kindle or whatever. But hopefully you can find some conversation ideas and just get started. So at least you start talking to your kids about money and don't wait until it's too late.


Absolutely. And for those of you listening, I'd also say I hear a lot of people talk about what they wish they had a book for their kids that they could teach in the school or in some way, bring that money conversation, which I know you're a lot about that, too. As far as bringing into our education systems, this is one of those books. Not everybody has to write the book a lot of the times. It's just about getting it in front of people and getting them to start having those conversations.


So thank you so much for that. Thank you for the work you're doing. As always, it's a pleasure having you here and for those who are listening as always, to helping you impact more people and make more money and less time. Do what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life. Thanks for listening.


Chad Willardson, CFF®, CRPC®Profile Photo

Chad Willardson, CFF®, CRPC®

I help HNW entrepreneurs enjoy a lifestyle of financial freedom 🌴| ⚖️Certified Financial Fiduciary® | 📖2X Best-Selling Author

Chad helps people enjoy life by removing their stress about money.
He is the founder of Pacific Capital, creator of the Financial Life Inspection, author of the best-selling books "Stress-Free Money" and "Smart, Not Spoiled” and co-owner of multiples businesses.