10 ways we’re teaching our 2 year old about money — a guide for toddler parents

10 ways we’re teaching our 2 year old about money — a guide for toddler parents

Money mindset at age 2? Yes! I became a brand new Mama in 2016 and it became my mission to teach myself a positive money mindset, so I could teach my son. In my opinion, money, money mindset and the understanding of wealth are essential life skills, just as fundamental as learning to read is to a child.

I wish I had learned to get my money stuff together a whole lot earlier so my gift to my children is to start early! We tend to unknowingly pass on generational weaknesses and I really don’t want to be responsible for passing on my mega money drama to my children.

I’ve written this guide with real life examples. Use the examples and inspiration to start your own money lessons. A lot of what we do is an experiment and I often think of improvements to games or concepts and then bring them in next time the opportunity arises. I am also constantly assessing if a conversation or activity is too advanced, too simple or can be presented in a better way. I then adjust as we go along. 

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10 blogs I'm using to reeducate myself about money

10 blogs I'm using to reeducate myself about money

Since I realised I’m hurtling towards the big 4-0 I put myself on a crash course on money. Because I’m no longer prepared to accept and excuse my below average performance with money, I’m gluttonously consuming courses, books, podcasts and blogs on money.

I can feel my world opening up as I discover small (but simple and quick) money making tools, through to bigger investment, bigger reward (but smart) money making opportunities, as well as life changing money mindset principles.

This is a collection of the 10 best blogs I’ve discovered so far. Many of my evening and early morning hours are spent drinking money medicine from these digital pages.

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Money matters more in motherhood

Money matters more in motherhood

When I fell pregnant I fell into a wistful state of thought. I felt regret that I hadn’t achieved my pre motherhood goals. I felt a deep yearning and longing for my life to be better. I felt torn between letting go in order to be free, and holding on because motherhood didn’t have to mark the end of striving for more. Life was filled with perilous promise.

Key points in this blog

Accept your innate desire to provide the best for your children and that this costs money. Stop pretending that money doesn’t matter. Everything is not ok as it is. Become aware of money and why you want more of it. Make money top of mind. Think about it. Talk about it. Dream about it. Awareness and desire leads to thought which leads to all important action.

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Money, maternal mental health and me

Money, maternal mental health and me

Motherhood can be beautiful, glorious and meaningful but money and motherhood can be ugly.

Your income takes a hit just as you become aware of all the perfect baby nurseries on perfect Instagram feeds. There’s a million ‘essential’ things you’ll need for your baby and forevermore at each key stage of their development. Your desire for money to do the best for your child goes through the roof as you enter a world divided on topics of maternity pay, parental leave and flexible working.

Your ability to earn is negatively impacted as you have less time, less flexibility, less sleep and less confidence.

Time becomes golden, the one thing you wished you valued more when your world didn’t revolve around broken nights, needy tiny humans and the new open door policy sign on your bathroom. You and your partner will have to navigate what life looks like when your income is compromised with maternity leave, returning to work whilst juggling the needs of a tiny human and the cost of childcare. And when your tiny human becomes more vocal, how do you manage their incessant requests for things without screwing them up?

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How I slayed my limiting beliefs about money with this simple questioning tool

How I slayed my limiting beliefs about money with this simple questioning tool

Beliefs. Words. Thoughts. I have believed awful things like I don’t deserve money and that people judge me because of money and because of lack of money - yup, I feel judged for being poor and judged for being rich! I must have said, I can’t afford it a million times over. I have caught myself thinking I must be financially cursed. All these bad thoughts, popping into my mind on repeat over time have become hard to shift boulder like beliefs. What. A. Mess.

I am challenging myself to tackle my deep rooted issues with money. My limiting thoughts and beliefs about money was the next exercise in Jen Sincero’s book, “You are a badass at making money”. Here’s her drill:

  • Become aware of what your limiting thoughts and beliefs are

  • Question and investigate them

  • Rewrite them

  • Say it loud and proud

Below you will find my very personal journey through this exercise. I became aware of, questioned and investigated a whopping 11 limiting beliefs about money! I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in improving their financial mindset and situation to do this exercise like I did.

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3 ways to design your Mama life so you can kick ass and feel fulfilled

3 ways to design your Mama life so you can kick ass and feel fulfilled

Time and Mamahood are not friends. It’s like the Gods gave us 10,000 more responsibilities but forgot to give us more time. You are a responsibility juggling Mama with a to do list the length of 10 buses and the same amount of time as an average 19 year old that is child free and living at home! Oh to have some of the time you had when you were 19 back again now…

Since my son was born in November 2016 I have been experimenting with different productivity methods. I’ve been exploring how to find myself, and how to feel contented and fulfilled in my new life as Mama. One thing is clear to me — living a contented and satisfying life takes design. If you are looking at someone else’s life and thinking how wonderful it looks, then I bet you don’t realise how much design went into that life. It didn’t just happen and it’s probably still a work in progress.

My life is far from my dream life and far from running as smoothly as I would want, and yet it sure looks good to others! I often get asked questions like:

  1. How do you do it?

  2. How do you fit it all in?

  3. How do you wake up so early?

The answer lies in knowing what is important to me, time blocking my life and knowing my why. You can follow these steps to create more order in your own life so you can have that wonderful feeling of, ‘I got this’.

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10 unique ways to handle two year old tantrums

10 unique ways to handle two year old tantrums

Are you accidentally aggravating toddler tantrums? I was. How do you go from extreme frustration to a zen like ‘I got this’ with toddler tantrums? I was the extremely frustrated Mama. We were in a negative cycle. This is our story, together with a tonne of examples, lessons, tricks and tips that you can try for yourself.

Tantrums arrive unannounced. For us they crashed into our world at age two years three months. They are a whirlwind of unexplainable, illogical and uncontrollable emotions that overflow, ooze and fester. They are super tricky, ugly and draining!

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29 reasons why money is marvelous and why you should do your personal ‘marvelous money’ exercise

29 reasons why money is marvelous and why you should do your personal ‘marvelous money’ exercise

Most of us have a screwed up view of money! I bet if I asked you to publicly say why you love money, you’d get all cringey about it. If you had to, you’d admit you love money because you’ve experienced the joy of buying yourself something you really want. But we’re not meant to love money (because ‘money isn’t everything’, right) so you certainly don’t have a giant list about your love of money and we certainly shouldn’t be having a money conversation so publicly. Guess what? I feel exactly the same! I am terrified but I am publicly sharing my exercises from Jen Sincero’s book, ‘You are a Badass at Making Money.

Would you agree with these statements?

  1. Money can add awesome things and experiences to life

  2. Being rich can seriously benefits others

  3. Beautiful things have happened in this world thanks to money

No matter your views on money, my guess is you can’t say no to any of those statements. Money is beautiful and powerful. Money can open doors and make massive positive change. Money is marvelous.

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Why do you deserve money?

Why do you deserve money?

Why do you deserve money? Well this is a loaded question! It might immediately conjure up other questions. Do I really deserve money? Do some people deserve money and others not? Do some people deserve more money than others? Why should I deserve money when others clearly have even less than me?

In this blog I’ll cover:

  1. The meaning of the word, ‘deserve’

  2. 15 reasons why I deserve money

  3. Tips on how to more easily discover why you deserve money

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A life long dissatisfaction with money and what I’m doing about it

A life long dissatisfaction with money and what I’m doing about it

I have been dissatisfied with money all my life.

In early childhood I became aware of the doors it could open and close, depending on whether you had it or not. Whilst I had a great childhood, many of the doors I wanted to open were locked! In my teens, my cousin and I plotted how we would make it big so we could buy whatever we wanted (we now know there’s more to just buying). In my twenties I got my dream first class degree and my first proper job. Except in the end, it wasn’t so ‘proper’ and neither was the job after that.

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A letter to myself at 37 — a self analysis by stepping outside of myself (+ tips on how to do this)

Dear Sara,

You turned 37 today. You see 40 looming and you are scared. It feels like time is running out. You had (have) such big dreams and it seems like they are eluding you. You are tossed between feeling dissatisfied with life, to feeling ungrateful for all the good in your life. Life is so full and yet so empty. So, what can you do about this?

Shine your light and fear less

Sara, stop hiding your light. You fear no one will notice and yet you fear judgement. What a conundrum. Because the world is overloaded with content you dodge creating more. But you love writing. You don’t have to have it all figured out to make a start.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell

You worry about content, word counts, time limits, fonts, visuals and technical ability. These worries and fears are stopping you from taking action. And it is action that will teach you what you need to know. You will win and fail. Both will hold valuable lessons. The faster you act, the faster you will learn, and the faster you will succeed.

Be thankful — thank and you will be full

Sara, give thanks for the love that encircles you. You often think you are lonely, but you have more quality friendships than you realise. You have a husband that loves you deeply and a son that calls for you. You have family. It is big and scattered, but you have special family members who always have your back. You have in-laws that you actually get on with. This can be quite a rare thing.

“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” – Roy T. Bennett

Value what you have achieved. You may not be where you want to be, but you sure are a long way off from where you started. Appreciate your body and your mind. You are healthy. So is your family (mostly).

Look at the word ‘thankful’. ‘Thank-ful’. Maybe, if you thank, you will be full.

Let people be

Sara, what other people say, do and believe, is absolutely beyond your control. What you do have control over is how you respond.

“The older I get, the more I believe that the greatest kindness is acceptance.” ― Christina Baker Kline

It will help if you stop expecting people to treat you a certain way. Accept people for where they are on their journey. This can be very difficult to do with people you love, but you will be less disappointed and more able to celebrate the good in them.

Reach the finish line

Sara, you are now aware that you tend not to finish things. This awareness will serve you well.

Count your unfinished projects, books, notebooks — eek! This decade long writing project that hasn’t got off the ground. The 3 year old unfinished e-book course. The fab at 30 project. Fab at 37 hasn’t got the same ring to it, has it? You love ‘shiny new things’. But the art is in the application, the doing, the completing.

“To get to your finish line, you’ll have to try lots of different paths.” ― Amby Burfoot

There are two types of finish lines. 1. Completing the things that are important. 2. Knowing what and when to finish and leave something behind. Deciphering what is important and what you must leave behind is your biggest challenge right now. You do not have the answers yet. Let yourself sit with the fear, turmoil and unknown. The answers will come. You will come through a significantly better version of yourself. Keep trying until you find the right path for you.

Believe in making it through

Every day that you experience is another set of achievements and lessons. Minutes. Hours. Days. In time you will find that you have made it through the things that seemed impossible.

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. “ ― Stephen King, The Stand

Somehow, at a place beyond all the gargantuan effort you put in, beyond the overthinking, the crippling fear and debate you have with yourself and others, somehow beyond all that, you will make it through.


Self analysis tips

When I started writing this analysis about myself, I started to feel sorry for myself. That is not what I wanted to achieve. Rather I wanted the outcome to be more like wise words from a teacher, guide or friend.

By stepping outside of myself I was no longer speaking in the first person, like I am now. It felt like I was guiding someone else rather than myself, which is a lot easier to do! By taking a ‘birds eye view’ of myself or being a ‘fly on the wall' of my current state of mind, I was able to be less emotional and significantly more matter of fact.

The experience is like decanting the wild waves of the stormy sea into a neat row of glass bottles. The water is exactly the same. The presentation is completely different. It is calm and more ordered so you can process the contents more easily.

In my silly busy world of juggling toddler, relationship, health, work and home (with its never ending need to be tidied and piles of laundry), there is no time for uninterrupted self reflection. So my thoughts, self talk and inner knowing are like the wild waves of the stormy sea. I bet you can relate! This ‘external’ self analysis helped me unravel, untangle and present the wisdom floating around my head in a way that I can process and revisit again and again.

Key steps

  1. I did this on my laptop. Yup. I think you can do this freehand or whatever technology you desire ― see what works for you.

  2. Write as if you are writing to someone you love and care for deeply.

  3. Write about how this person you love (you) feels right now. This is like setup statement, something that frames the important issues for you right now.

  4. It may help to ask yourself a question. I asked, “What can you do about this?” But it can be any question that is relevant to you.

  5. Don’t feel the need to stop your train of thought or edit what is pouring out of you ― presentation can come later (if needed).

  6. If lots of thoughts are coming at you, just write the keywords down, then come back to them. If they are needed you will easily be able to expand. If you find they fade, let them fade.

  7. You’ll probably feel silly at some point. I felt like the whole thing was pointless and a waste of time, intermittently, throughout the exercise. But having persisted, I have found the direction soothing, calming and powerfully on point.

If you try this, let me know how you get on! Or just share whatever you get out of this (now very public) self analysis. Simply comment or get in touch sara[@]somethingbeckons.co.uk Thank you!