At some point in this walk through life we begin to think about the impact our decisions have on the next generation, namely, our kids. If you happen to start a family early, it’s critical to teach the fundamentals of financial literacy from the start. In this culture of buy now and pay later or never, cultivating a sense of financial responsibility in the little ones is one of the most important roles of a parent.
After all, do you want them to grow up and spend money they don’t have, like the government? Or worse, start printing it when they run out, once more, like the government? The obvious answers to these questions are “No!” and “Hell, no!” The temptation for financial irresponsibility is even greater if you happen to have a moderate amount of wealth and can afford to spend on non-essentials.
So what are you going to do about it?
Our first suggestion is set limits. Teach them to understand the difference between needs and wants. Other ideas are:
1. Discuss how money works in an age-appropriate way. Explain the bills and everyday expenses your money pays for.
2. Get a piggybank and have your child divide the contents into spending and saving. This helps instill the idea of long term planning. Don’t get frustrated if it takes them a while to catch on. Some reach the age of ten before internalizing the idea.
3. Playing is learning. Even pre-schoolers enjoy a game of shop that simulates a retail environment complete with play money and receipts.
Hopefully, by now you get the idea. The goal is to send your kids out into the real world with a solid grasp of how being a good money steward will improve their lives forever.
The Young Wealth Team
Flickr / mikebaird