Teaching The Value Of The Dollar

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When CBS News Correspondent Steve Hartman traveled to Visalia, Calif., the first thing he noticed was the quiet. But after meeting the Gubler family, he could only attribute it to good insulation.
Hartman's story begins with Warren Gubler, his wife Alisa, and their five children, ages 14 down to 4.

The kids can be real nerve testers. And yet this Mormon bishop begins every day without a drop of caffeine. He does not smoke, drink or swear.

"Rear end" is probably the worst word his secretary says she has ever heard him use.

"I'm just an overgrown Boy Scout," says Gubler and his wife affirms he usually comes home whistling.

" Just a Ward Cleaver or whatever kind of guy," she adds.

And yet beneath those boyish dimples lies an alter ego.

"I'm an attorney and for the last few years the focus of my practice has been debt collection, " he says.

A tough litigator when he interrogates a debtor in the courtroom, he says he would even take away someone's car.

"I would. I'm an advocate," he adds.

And he is a busy one at that.

"When the economy goes south, my business picks up," he says.

The fact is bankruptcies in America are at an all-time high. And Gubler, who also lectures on how to stay out of debt, says the most important thing you can tell a person to make them financially responsible is something along the lines of: work hard, save money, or there will be no dessert for you - or something like that.

The point is, he says, good money managers are made young, real young.

His 4-year-old Lora is already developing a work ethic. Dishes are stored low just so that she can reach them. Gubler says chores, like putting away the dishes, are the all-important first step to raising money smart-kids.

And although he doesn't pay allowance, he has come up with an interesting twist.

"You can't teach the importance of money if you don't have a way to earn money," he says.

So in his house every kid gets at least one paying job: Eddie mows the lawn and gets $4 for it. He has been mowing since he was 6. Another child collects cans at the office and his daughter Rachel feeds a cow.

"I think that over in this area of Visalia that we're the only people that have cows," says Eddie. Rachel says they have it "for the experience."

"But thy're going to be children who know the value of a dollar," says Gubler.

Someday, perhaps. Because it's hard to get kids to look past today, or for that matter, past dessert.

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  • Tatiana Morales

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