Kids & Money Lesson 11: Defining Rich QOL vs. SOL

What is ‘Quality of Life’ and ‘Standard of Living’?

Elementary / Middle School / Teen: Explain that “Standard of Living” is how well you are living when it comes to needs and wants. Needs can be the type of home you have, food available to eat and access to education. Wants could be having toys, video games, opportunity to vacation, etc.

As for “Quality of Life”, it would be how safe you feel emotionally, mentally and physically. (“Safe” in this instance means a comfort level regarding freedom within these three arenas.)

Fun factor: With these definitions, have them draw, separately, what Standard of Living and Quality of Life might look like.

Ask these questions once they understand the difference between the above concepts:

Can you have a good or high Quality of Life with a low Standard of Living? (As an extreme example: Can children in third-world countries feel happy and safe?)

Can you have a high Standard of Living and experience a poor Quality of Life? How?

Parents: This is an integral concept. The takeaway is that your kids know that Quality of Life equates to long-term emotional benefit. Standard of Living deals with the quantity and quality of “things”. While there is short-term emotional benefit involved, Standard of Living and Quality of Life are not necessarily positively correlated. Next week, we will continue the conversation discussing how you increase these dynamics and how they might conflict.

Thanks for all you do! Given how little bandwidth you have with all the responsibilities you shoulder, we appreciate you adding this very important series of posts to the pile. You are amazing and we’re humbled by your commitment to fully prepare your children for this world.

If you can squeeze it in this week, write a short, hand-written note to each kid about how proud you are of them and leave it: on their pillow, in their backpack, where they eat breakfast or by their phone charger.