What Star Wars, Airway, and My Parents Taught Me About Money (and why we need to teach “money” in school).

I was lucky. My dad taught me the difference between a traditional IRA and ROTH IRA a long time ago. For that matter, he taught me about paying myself first, delayed gratification, and compounding interest. I had my first bank account at 6, and I’ve been “frugal” ever since.

Let me back up even further. Star Wars taught me a lot about money as well. In 1979 I was 7, and I LOVED Star Wars. I also loved the merchandise, which was somewhat problematic for our family- my dad was a teacher and my mother was a stay-at-home educator. Thus we were…. ummmm “not wealthy.” BUT that didn’t stop me from begging for Star Wars actions figures; or as I called them “my guys.”

My parents were nice enough to buy me some figures, but when I kept begging for the Millennium Falcon, my mother said, “sure, I just need $24.” In 1979 this was a decent chunk of money. She explained that our budget was tight, but if I earned $24 she would drive me to Airway and I could buy it. I asked, “how can I earn $24?” She told me, “that’s your job to figure it out. My job is to drive you there.”

For the next three months I found odd jobs. I mowed, I raked, I even won our Little League raffle- $25. So when my mom asked me how much I had in the Squirrel’s Club account (yes, it was called the Squirrel’s Club), I had $85. I was shocked! I didn’t realize that I had made that much. Then the next question changed my life- “Do you want me to drive you to Airway so you can buy that toy?”

“Toy?” You mean the ONE item I slaved over for the past three months? Now the term “toy” suddenly seemed appropriate.

“No. I want to see my bank account hit $100. I want that more than the toy.” This was literally a pivotal point in my life. I went from obsessed fan to frugal investor in the blink of an eye. I learned delayed gratification, savings, and the value of earning something yourself in that moment. To this day I stop and think if my spending is a “want,” or a “need.”

Full disclosure: I ended up buying my Millennium Falcon four years later, at a garage sale for $1.

As I mentioned earlier, I was lucky to have parents that taught me about my finances. Well, for that matter, George Lucas and Airway are somewhat responsible too. BUT too many students need to learn valuable skills as well.

For those reasons I was thrilled to interview Anthony ONeal. Anthony and Rachael Cruze have written a practical, fun book titled, The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in College.

I won’t go into too much detail because Anthony is a shot of adrenaline to listen to, so I ask that you give this one a listen! His passion for financial education and personal journey are inspiring. If you are a parent, this is a must-listen. If you are a student… even more so. He even shares a great resource on how to find scholarship money!

Also, because Anthony was such an amazing guest, he passed along several books to give away. So, if you want to be in our give away, I have only one ask: Like our Facebook page, and make a comment on the page.

Why are we shamelessly re-directing you to the Facebook page? Because we want conversations about how to implement things like financial literacy in our educational system. We are also wanting you to know more about entrepreneurs and “outside education” leaders think we should do to change education. Our interviews include some of the best and most successful people in the world, and I think you’ll love hearing their insights.

Again, go to: https://www.facebook.com/startedup/. Like us. Make a comment that you want the book. (Or tell me that you remember Airway before it was Target). Then we’ll start announcing the winners over the next week!

For that matter, please subscribe to our podcast! You’ll love who we’ve interviewed, and who we are about to interview. In fact, I head out to interview THE Gary Vaynerchuk and James Altucher next week. Don’t know who these guys are??? THAT’S why you need to listen! I promise you’ll love them!

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/startedup-podcast/id1190995056?mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/don-wettrick