12-Year-Old Saves His Grandmother's House From Foreclosure

moneySo what has your tween been up to this week? A little XBox playing? Maybe a few games of HORSE with his buddies at the middle school gym? Noah Lamaide has been too busy for such childish pursuits. The Wisconsin 12-year-old has been too busy saving his grandmother's house from going to the highest bidder in a foreclosure auction.

His feat -- raising $10,500 in just one month to keep the bank away from his 72-year-old grandmother's doorstep -- is nothing short of amazing. But -- forgive me for saying this -- it's also a little sad because it is so different from the kid-like things your average 12-year-old is doing.


At 12, Noah has already had to face the very adult concept of being so broke you could lose your house. There's no way around it when money gets that tight, and I want to stress that I do not blame his parents or grandma one bit for putting this little boy in this situation. They have obviously done a wonderful job with this child.

But his story certainly begs the question: when is it appropriate to start bringing kids into the money talks? Is there a particular age? Is it when you simply can't hide it from them anymore?

I can't remember exactly when I realized money didn't grow on trees. My parents didn't give me everything I wanted at any point of my life, and from the get-go, I had a piggy bank that we would empty at regular intervals, rolling the coins up and taking them to the bank, where they were put directly into my college account. Hard workers and savers both, they made a point to raise a financially savvy kid.

That's what I want to do with my child too. If you wait until they're ready to head off for college, it is too late. And as Noah has proven, they can handle responsibility long before they're able to actually sign up for a credit card.

It's OK -- crucial even -- to have some conversations about money now. But I don't think you need to despair if your kid is still being a kid instead of doing something big like raising money to save grandma from being homeless.

I can't remember a single time my parents talked about their financial struggles during my childhood even though now, looking back, I know they were there. And yet, I consider my parents to have been successful with their attempts to make me frugal. I've never bounced a check or carried a balance on my credit cards past the monthly due date.

Raising kids with money values goes a long way. And hey, you never know what your super saver could end up doing for the good of the world one day. They might teach you a little bit about how to make big bank in one month like Noah Lamaide.

When did you start talking to your kids about finances?


Image via JMRosenfeld/Flickr

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