Scott Pape made his reputation, and perhaps a tidy sum for himself, through his financial advice to adults as the Barefoot Investor, and now he’s turning his attention to kids.

With four kids of his own, aged between two and nine, financial literacy and advice to kids is something he clearly feels very passionate about as “a way to teach kids values and behaviours.”

It’s not all about money, Pape says it’s also about attitude, and the book spends some time on subjects such as making the world a better place, helping other people, and just making people smile.

“It’s about using money in a way that brings you happiness. If that doesn’t involve someone other than yourself, you’re going to be a very unhappy person,” Pape says.

In between stories of kids who’ve succeeded with money, there is plenty of advice but it’s given in a friendly and conversational way which is likely to engage younger readers.

There is a moral element too. Kids should be doing things like clearing away the dishes anyway, as part of helping the family, and they shouldn’t expect pocket money for it. 

As it turns out, much of the advice Pape dishes out to kids is just as applicable to adults, it’s just that the younger you are and the sooner you can start with good financial habits the better off you’ll be in the long term.

For example, kids should put their money into “buckets’, just the same way as adults will have savings accounts for travel or car payments. Pape gives the labels of splurge, save, and grow to the buckets, which he says are just a simple way of thinking about where your money will go.

He also recommends that kids start a business, whether it be moving lawns or collecting bottles. The book has profiles of 50 kids between five and 15 who have started their own money and stopped “looking for a handout” from Mum and Dad.

There are also “soft skills” which you might not immediately associate with money, such as learning from others and developing communication skills. All very useful, he says, in getting ideas and understanding how they might work.

Here are a few more of his tips for kids, (and anyone), who want to get ahead:

  • Shop Second Hand. 
  • Understand Compound Interest.
  • Invest for the Long Term
  • Have a business plan
  • Use Investment Apps

So, you see its not just about kids, its about everyone. Taking Scott’s advice could be an investment which will pay off, no matter how old you are.  


Barefoot Kids by Scott Pape, in bookstores now and available online 

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