The Budgetarian

Teaching about money by being funny

FQ (Financial Quotient) - Rose Fres Fausto - Philstar.com
Teaching about money by being funny
This is the reason why when we try to teach about money – be it to our children, our spouse, friends, other relatives, or clients, we may benefit by using humor.

Talking about money brings stress to most people. Having money problems actually brings serious illness to some. And since laughter is the best medicine, let’s start this article with some money jokes.

On spending

Anyone who says that money can’t buy you happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping. – Bo Derek

On borrowing 

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. - Bob Hope

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back. – Oscar Wilde

On inflation

Inflation is when you pay $15 for the $10-haircut you used to get for $5 when you still had hair. - Sam Ewing

On investing

The safest way to double your money is to fold over and put it in your pocket. – Kin Hubbard

On gambling

There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune; go there with a large one.

On banking

If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. – J Paul Getty

On taxes

The best way to teach your children about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream. - Bill Murray

On the love of money

Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money! – Jackie Mason

On money and family

I made money the old-fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died. – Malcolm Forbes

On couples and money

My credit card was stolen, but I didn’t report it; the thief was spending less than my wife did! – Henny Youngman

This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt. – Earl Wison

(These jokes were picked from the "50 Financial Jokes of Prosperity Thinkers".)

Some jokes may have tickled you while some may have been a bit corny for your taste, but all take the serious and emotional topic of money a bit lighter, causing you to be more relaxed and open to any discussion about money, right?

This is the reason why when we try to teach about money – be it to our children, our spouse, friends, other relatives, or clients, we may benefit by using humor.

Here are the reasons why it pays to teach about money by being funny. By the way, these reasons also apply to teaching about topics other than money.

1. When you get them to laugh, you get them to listen. Imagine yourself being in the audience listening to a speaker on money, a rather sensitive topic for you. If he starts blabbering about economic indicators that will affect your personal finances accompanied by numbers presented in bullet points in small fonts, chances are you will zone out in just a few seconds. But when the speaker cracks a joke that you find funny (or maybe even corny), you will listen and pay attention.

2. Humor makes you bring down your guards and makes you more open to new ideas. When you are laughing, there’s a pleasant feeling that allows you to be more accepting about ideas that you are hearing for the first time or even just being presented in a new way to you.

3. Humor increases your brain power. Even if laughing triggers our Emotional Emong (our emotional limbic system in our brain) that makes us happy, the serotonin that’s released helps our Makatwirang Mak (our rational prefrontal cortex), focus and process the information on hand. So, laughter really makes our two sides interact positively to boost our FQ. (See Chapter 5 of FQ Book 2)

4. Humor triggers connections, diffuses tension and improves memory retention. When you’re laughing at someone’s jokes, there is an interaction that creates some sort of a bond between the two of you. If there is tension at the start, a joke can diffuse it and avoid arguments. Moreover, since our Emotional Emong is also the seat of our memories, money lessons we learn that activates our feelings will be remembered better (and hopefully, acted upon) than any lesson that just went to and stayed in our Makatwirang Mak side. (See Chapter 5 of FQ Book 2

5. Humor strengthens our immune system. Money problems are the top causes of stress. Teaching about money by making people laugh enables you to help relax their muscles, lower their blood pressure, and strengthen their immune system in general. In turn, this will not only help them absorb the lessons well, but also helps them cope with the day-to-day stress they encounter as they solve their money problems with the help of your money lessons.  

There are other benefits of using humor in our FQ lessons. If you have any, I’d love to hear them. 

Let me end this article by sharing a four-minute stand-up comedy act by Ronnie Chang, one of the actors in Crazy Rich Asians. He talks about why Chinese people love money.

And talking about Chinese, their love for money, and using humor to teach, join me on Thursday on Money Lessons with FQ Mom. I will have Chinkee Tan as our guest. If you have questions, send them in now.


1. Thank you to everyone who sent messages thanking last week’s article "Bangkarote! (Saved by the yellow bell)" and the accompanying podcast for the lessons in history and economics narrated in easy-to-understand language. You are welcome. 

2. If you want to further your knowledge in the above topics, Alvin Ang, PhD, professor of Economics at the ADMU and UST also joined me in my weekly show. Here’s the abridged version of the discussion of economics in no nose-bleed terms. 

3. We now start the end of the first quarter of 2022. If you still want to do your goal setting for the year and want to use FQ template for this activity, just email your request to [email protected] with the subject GOAL SETTING TEMPLATE.

4. Grab your copy of all or any of the FQ Mom books. 


This article is also published in FQMom.com.


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