For those of you that haven’t heard yet, this month I became a dad for the second time. And with kids come all sorts of worries. One thing I worry about is will I be able teach them all they need to know to enter the real world when the time comes.
Money is one of the topics I worry about. I love my kids but honestly want them to be able to manage their money properly so I don’t have to bail them out too much when they are older and make money mistakes. Of course I expect to bail them out a few times as that’s part of growing up but eventually I expect them to be competent and make wise money decisions.
So when this email about teaching your kids about money crossed my inbox from ING Direct, I just had to share it.
Raising Your Kids Fiscally Fit
A recent national survey said that parents are more apt to talk about the birds and the bees than money and finances. Good thing you’re not one of them, right? No matter what age, your kids need to hear from you about the money basics. Here are a few tips to help you begin the financial dialogue with them (and keep it open):
- Start’em young â€“ Start their education about money matters by having a monthly family finance meeting. That savings account you’ve been meaning to open for them? No time like the present.
- School the school-aged kids â€“ After-school jobs are more than just a way to get the kids off the couch. Fiscal responsibility becomes real when it’s their hard-earned money at stake.
- College kids? Tell them instant credit = lingering debt â€“ The average college student with credit cards graduates already $4,000 in the hole. So make sure they know to look at the fine print. Tell them to read the agreement before accepting the “free” gift and signing away their financial future.
- Help them make grown-up decisions (with their first grown-up job) â€“ Adult children can learn to budget and curb spending (and make saving part of the equation). An emergency fund should be figured into how they save (think 3-6 months’ salary). Scheduling reminders to pay monthly “bills” will help them avoid late fees. And setting up a monthly Automatic Savings Plan will grow their money even faster.
Your child’s financial responsibility starts with you. Speak up. Talk to your kids about money and spending. It’s one “adult” discussion that won’t leave you or your kids blushing.