It is not always easy to have a serious conversation with kids, but many times, it can be fun. Specially when they remind us about the versions of ourselves that we strive to be. However, some sensitive conversations aren’t so much fun. One of them is the “money talk.”
Talking to children about money isn’t entirely easy – primarily because many of us might also struggle with finances. However, if you have even the most remote understanding of money, you should pass that knowledge down to your children.
The benefits of talking to your children about money are self-evident. By simply having one discussion about money with your children every week, you might be able to help them grow up to become more financially literate. You are playing a significant role in getting them to be more responsible, and the knowledge they get from you will live on with them.
As stated earlier, not every parent has this desire. So, if you’re feeling reluctant for any reason, here are some important tips that can help you raise the topic of money and have a truly impactful conversation.
One of the things you should understand is that a lot of children actually know what money is. They don’t understand it, but they know what it is and why it’s so important. When you go to your child and tell him or her that you want to have the money talk, you’re essentially creating an awkward situation.
Instead, show them the lessons you’re trying to teach. The next time you go to the ATM, take your child. Show your child how the money comes out and explain how it got into your account. Explain that money won’t come out if you don’t get paid.
It could be with your credit card too. When you’re swiping it, explain that the card is connected to your account. Tell them that it draws money from the account, so it’s more convenient.
The point is for you to make things as simple as possible. You don’t need to explain economics or retirement funds to them yet. Remember that they’re just kids.
The entire point of money management is being able to get what you want with what you have. Of course, you can’t get something if you don’t know what you want. Even children can have things they save for.
Here, your job is to act as guide. Teach your kids how to identify financial goals and help them figure out how to get them. Again, remember that they’re kids. So, they could be saving up to get something simple – maybe a comic book or a doll.
You should also keep in mind that they might be too young to work. So, “making” money might not be possible. That’s another place where you come in. You can structure an allowance, tell your kids to do household jobs to get paid, or give them holiday and birthday money. Kids get a lot of money from family friends and relatives too – that’s another possible source of income.
Another way you can incentivize children is to match the amount of money they save. Give them the opportunity to have that satisfaction that comes from setting a financial goal and reaching it. From there, they understand what it is to set goals and what it will take to achieve them.
This is one important thing to keep in mind as your children grow older. A 3-year-old child might not necessarily be able to save towards a goal or own a savings account. But, when your child grows older, let them experiment with some of the things you’ve taught them.
You could find out the best debit cards for teens to open and get your teenage daughter a debit card for easy withdrawals. Keep in mind that she might spend the money on some stuff she doesn’t need at first – when it comes to children, always leave room for mistakes.
At the end of every month, make sure to sit down with your child and examine his or her expenses. Check out some of the unnecessary things they bought, and show them how they can manage their money better.
The point is for you to teach your children how to handle money from a young age. This way, they will be more financially prudent when they grow older. Children appreciate autonomy, especially when it is given from an early age.
Teaching your children about financial management works just like teaching them about anything else. They take in what you tell them, but they also watch what you do.
If you’re financially prudent, your kids will see that and want to emulate you. If you buy things for fun and blow your paycheck, there’s a chance that they’ll see that too. As your children grow older, they start to see the necessary things and luxuries that you buy. If they see that you don’t spend money wisely, they most likely won’t follow your instructions.
This isn’t to say you can’t live a little or buy things you like. Just make sure you can manage money well, and you don’t end up struggling because of a luxury you purchased. Sometimes, your children might even ask you about some of the things you buy. If it’s a luxury, explain why you can afford it and what they need to understand about saving. You can even do one better and get your children something as a reward for hitting a financial goal. Always strike a balance, and you’ll find that things will be easier.
It is never easy to talk to your children about money. But, money is very important, and your children will eventually need to understand it. So, it will be much better for you to teach your children about money than have them learn elsewhere. When talking to your children about money, remember to always be there to assist. Make things as simple as possible, and give them the freedom to try as they get older. Also, remember to also be financially prudent yourself – you’re the best role model your child can have.
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