In July, I have been Tweeting about kids and money. Here is some of what I’ve learned.
- Begin teaching your children young
- Teach them the difference between ‘wants’ vs. ‘needs’
- When you are shopping together, find and exploit ‘financial’ teaching moments
- Teach them the importance of saving, tithing and wise spending
- Pay them an allowance to give them ‘hands on’ experience with money
Children Ages 12-21
- Continue using the ideas above for ages 7-11
- Encourage them to earn their own money by babysitting, mowing yards, part-time jobs etc.
- Teach them about how to write a check and keep track of their spending
- Talk to them about the wise use of credit/debit cards
- If they are away at school, give them a budget and stick to it.
Adult Children Ages 21-99
While we hate to see our children lack what they need, there is a fine line between prudent financial help and enabling your children around money problems that they have created.
- Be careful about providing a financial bail outs for an ‘adult child’.
- Set clear boundaries/guidelines for when and if any future bail outs might occur; or make it clear that there will be no ‘next time’
- ‘Stick to your guns’
I know that this may sound harsh. But consider that you may be helping to keep your child dependent on you while undermining their self-confidence. -This is probably just the opposite of what you really want to do!
Also, I have seen parents jeopardize their own financial security by continually bailing out their adult children! Remember, it is likely that your adult children have a lot longer to save for their future than you do.
Teaching your children about personal finance and money can be a lifetime job. Take advantage of every teaching moment. Remember, it is never too early to help your children (of any age) to take responsibility for their financial decisions. -Many of us learn the most and the best from our own mistakes!
Jane Nowak is a Financial Planner with Kring Financial Management located in Atlanta, Ga. Jane’s practice focuses on Women’s Retirement Planning and Financial Planning for Women. Her articles have been published on line at NASDAQ, Financial Planning Association and Womenetics.com. Follow Jane on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/moneygal2020