Silence is a weird sound for parents to hear. You desperately want it, but once it’s there, your mind starts racing over what could have made it happen. Did the kids zone out watching TV? Are they reading a book? Or, like Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson and former NFL player Andrew East perfectly showcased, did something go terribly wrong?
In an Instagram reel, the couple peacefully meal prepped in the kitchen while audio of children screaming, shrieking, and crying as objects smash into walls played in the background. They seemed fine and dandy until they heard “the only sound that scares parents”…
“…silence,” the reel said.
The two looked up and then quickly ran off in either direction to see what went so wrong that the kids got quiet.
One mom on TikTok said that at 10:30 on a Friday night, her youngest son was quiet. “So quiet that I thought he had gone to bed,” she said in the caption. Because sometimes (in rare and exciting cases) the silence means they decided to catch some z’s.
“Nope,” she continued on the video that has more than 1 million likes. “He was just preparing a financial presentation for us. 😂”
The 10-year-old came into the living room with a large piece of brown paper that mapped out his seriously genius money-saving plan.
Big Bucks For Birthdays
The 10-year-old’s plan started with a question for his mom: Just how much does she spend on his birthday presents? She told him that each year they spend $100. Not too shabby! Well, Peter took out his roll of paper and a marker and figured out that if he was given the cash instead, he would have $900 by the time he is 19.
“Then I asked the same thing about Christmas,” he said. “It’s also $100, so [another] $900.”
He then moved his paper closer to his dad and pointed to where it said he would then have $1800. He then turned the paper so his mom could see, and he repeated the total.
All this was leading up to this kid’s plan for spending his money.
“The price for [the University of Minnesota-Morris] is $24,000 for two years currently,” he pointed out. “And if…instead of getting presents from you I just get the money for college, then I [am] 9% of the way [there]. Which is pretty helpful.”
Way to go, kid! It may seem sad that he’s focused on the significant cost of college instead of toys, but it’s also incredibly smart of him. Commenters are certain that with brains like this, he is guaranteed a scholarship.
“So you would like money for college instead of presents?” his mom asked.
“Yeah!” the 10-year-old said confidently.
“Wow,” his mom continued. “So that’s what you’ve been working on at 10 o’clock at night?”
“Yes,” he said, eyes roaming back and forth to see his parents’ reaction.
Mom brought up a great point during the conversation, saying that they can talk about investing the money.
“Yes!” the boy said. “I want to invest. I’ve said that a thousand times.”
Woohoo! We so hope the market is on his side and he gets closer to his $24,000 goal.
Way To Freakin’ Go!
More than 28,000 commenters could not get over how impressive this kid is. He is choosing to prioritize education over presents.
“This kid is awesome! Must have some great parents too,” said personal finance radio personality Dave Ramsey.
“Some company or billionaire give this baby 1,800 right now to invest so he can keep getting his presents because he is an angel baby genius!” one commenter wrote.
“Love this!” said yet another. “I’ve been looking for a financial advisor. Is he for hire? 🥰
You’re probably not surprised to hear that a good way to teach your kids about financial literacy is by having frequent conversations. Sam X Renick, co-creator of Sammy Rabbit — a children’s character and financial literacy initiative — told Forbes that these conversations should happen before age 7 because research shows that money habits and attitudes are already formed by then. That said, it’s never too late to start!
It’s important to show them money in action, letting them watch physical transactions, and showing them price tags and receipts. Once kids understand spending, they should also learn about saving.
“Saving teaches discipline and delayed gratification,” Renick said. “Saving teaches goal-setting and planning. Saving stresses being prepared. Saving builds security and independence.”
All it takes is using short, simple messages, Renick said, like “I love to save” and
“It feels good to save money and build my future.”
Financial expert Jen Hemphill told NPR that allowances (preferably once that are earned through chores or good behavior) are also a powerful tool. Allowances give children a chance to manage their money while having an adult supervise and guide them.
“[Let them] make [money] mistakes early on so you can have the discussion of ‘OK, what could have been done differently, and how would that have benefited you better if you did?'”
She suggested using a save-spend-share bank (Psst! Building their own can be a fun craft and a good financial decision.) which can help kiddos think about setting goals and charitable donations. It also opens the conversation of just how much should go in each section.
The Shoe Fits
In a follow-up TikTok from the boy’s mom, she shared that this plan was entirely her son’s and that it makes sense given that he is an aspiring business owner. Both of his parents work in economics, so their kids has been exposed to financial conversations their whole lives. Her 10-year-old has also decided to have “Fancy Fridays” where he wears a suit jacket and tie to school. Yup! No “Casual Friday” for this kiddo. Don’t believe her? She posted an adorable montage soon after.
And so we have to agree with one of the original commenters who wrote, “This kid is going places ⭐️.”
The University of Minnesota-Morris quickly took notice of their future student, commenting on mom’s first update saying, “We can’t wait to admit him.” They then sent the 10-year-old a box filled with Morris goodies that he proudly unboxed. There was a hat filled with sunglasses, stickers, socks, buttons, temporary tattoos, and a lanyard. There was also a pennant flag — “I’m hanging this in my room!” — five shirts, a bag of chocolates, and an informational pamphlet.
The most exciting part had to be the note that said, “Peter, we’re ready to talk admissions. Go Cougars!” (We hope they’re ready to talk scholarships too!)
Commenters were eager to know what Peter wants to be when he grows up. On top of possibly owning a business and being a person who isn’t burdened by student debt, he said he wants to be an engineer or a chemist. “I’ve known that I want to do that for quite a while,” he said. “About two years ago, I found this YouTuber — his name is Mark Rober — and he really got me into it.”
Mom also said his ultimate goal has been to own a candy stand on every continent! And honestly, we would fly to Antarctica to support that endeavor.
If you’re still thinking this is all made up for TikTok, Peter’s mom shared a video of him at age 6 measuring his wrapped Christmas presents so he could then guess what was inside. He really is just an analytical kiddo.
After the first video went viral, people wanted Peter’s mom to start a GoFundMe so they could raise money for his tuition. She originally insisted that instead, they start a fund for another child they know. Since then, as more people insisted, she and her family “thought long and hard” and decided they would create two funds that people could donate to. One is for Peter’s college fund, and the other is to help his candy business grow.
Peter recently did a Q&A, and of course, the most frequently asked question was why did he make this plan?
“Well, I was thinking about how expensive college is … and I was trying to think of a way that I could make it less money,” he explained. “And then I remembered I do have a lot of toys, so why not just get money instead that goes toward college?”
Why So Legit?
And if you’re wondering why he did a full-blown presentation, Peter said it’s because he knows how hard it can be to persuade his mom. “I didn’t know how hard that one would be, but I know that presentations always make it a lot easier.”
Mom also jumped in to share that his “awesome teacher” has been having the students do research and make presentations, which got an enthusiastic “yeah!” out of the young scholar.
And In His Free Time?
At the end of the day, this money-saving, candy-selling, future chemist is just a tween. So people had to know, what happens when he’s not making presentations? Well, his favorite video games are the Zelda series, his favorite books are A Wrinkle in Time and the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings series (Psst! He was wearing Middle-earth socks in the video), and his favorite board game is Dungeons & Dragons.
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