In this day in age, it is important to get kids started on the right foot when it comes to their relationship with money and finances. Starting early, and having an open conversation about spending patterns, and more importantly, the habit of raising money can be the best gift you can give your children. Having that conversation early on will not just set the groundwork and provide them with valuable information for today, but you could be setting the tone for their financial success in the future.
It is essential to keep in mind that today’s children are the targets of aggressive marketing campaigns that are designed to create a mass consumer-driven society. Consumerism is prolific, and for this reason alone, instilling good spending habits in our children now could save them a lot of stress later.
While we do not recommend that you go into a high level of detail about your household finances with your children, it is vital that they understand the big “building blocks.” Understanding the basics – money in (salaries), versus money out (essential household expenses), and knowing the importance of setting a monthly budget, for example, will help them understand the difference between the needs and wants.
A piggy bank could be the most valuable Christmas present you gift your child this year. Not only does it do a terrific job of showing the concept of a “bank account”, but it demonstrates how money can be put away, to use at a later time. It also teaches the valuable lesson of how when contributing regularly, nickels, dimes and quarters, can add up and amount to something much more significant over time.
Perhaps your child is raising money to buy a more substantial ticket item, and you know it will take them a while to reach their financial goal. How about lending them the money? There’s no better way to help them understand the concept and value of lending than to have your child pay back this money to you, long after they’ve enjoyed the thrill of the new toy or item.
As parents, we are the single biggest influencers in our children’s lives. It is crucial that we are conscious of the fact that regardless of what we say, our children will take the most significant lessons from our actions. For that reason, it is critical we apply the same principles of financial assuredness in our own lives, that we’re trying to instill in our children.
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