Towanna Freeman talked with Sabrina Lamb, author and founder of a nonprofit institute for children called World of Money in New York. World of Money.org is a nonprofit institute with a 3-week program that empowers children ages 7 – 18 with a foundation of knowledge and skills that will change the way they view money and their own financial futures. The five basic tenets for a financially responsible life that kids learn are: Learn, Earn, Save, Invest, and Donate. The institute has a strict dress code, financial penalties for tardiness, and many other expectations that mirror the “real world” of finances and personal responsibilities.
Highlights of the Interview
- Ms. Lamb started World of Money in 2005, after attending a financial workshop for adults, and hearing a “whisper” in her mind asking, “What if children were receiving the same information?” She says that if she had received the same wise advice and understanding of finances as a child, her life would be very different. Her father, like many parents, did not want to discuss money with her, feeling it is the parent’s job to deal with the family’s finances – but that led to serious problems for her once she was on her own without the knowledge or skills to be financially responsible.
- This summer, 88 students and faculty from World of Money are taking a trip to China. Ms. Lamb explained that Mandarin Chinese is the “language of business and finance,” and it is important for the kids at the institute to understand the business and financial mindset of the Chinese.
- Ms. Lamb also works to change parents’ attitudes and habits regarding finances, with her book, Do I Look Like an ATM?: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible African American Children. In her book, she explains that until parents address their own toxic belief system and emotions with regard to money, and reevaluate their own methods of dealing (or not dealing) with financial issues, their children will get the wrong messages from them.
- Money is an emotional issue, and we can get wrong ideas in our formative years. No matter how many books are written about saving, investing, and creating a sound financial future, if kids grow up not believing their lives are worth investing in, nothing will come of that knowledge or financial advice, and financial problems will continue to be a generational issue.
World of Money is a nonprofit organization and donations can be made at Worldofmoney.org.
Purchase the book on Amazon, “Do I Look Like an ATM?: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible African American Children”