When is the best time to talk to your kids about money? Right now. Your kids are learning about money from someone right now. Please don’t let it be from an out-of-control celebrity on social media. You can be the positive example in their lives and the guiding voice they can trust.
Here are four tips for talking to your kids about money.
- Start slow. As soon as your child can count, introduce them to the concept of learning how much each coin is worth and why these coins and bills are important. Don’t go overboard. You definitely don’t need to schedule a sitdown time every day to review your bank account balances and retirement plan contributions. Start with simple money questions that are age appropriate. As they get older let them count out the money at the grocery store and figure out how much change they get back. It really can be a fun learning opportunity.
- Be honest. Show them the good, the bad and the ugly. Help children understand that you can’t have everything you want and the difference between needs and wants. Talk about debt and maybe even tell them what you wish you were doing better and how they can make sure they don’t make the same mistakes.
- Money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to earn it. Start an allowance system with your kids to help them learn the value of a dollar. Start with small chores around the house that turn into money in their pocket. As they see the money adding up, they may even want to do more! This is a great opportunity to introduce them to a CUbby Kids Club Savings Account and let them see how their money grows by just keeping it in a credit union account.
- Talk values, not figures. Kids need the core values like savings, budgeting, and giving. To help your kids prepare for the future, encourage them to start a budget and see how much they need to save, how much they can spend, and how much they should give. These are the stepping stones to a strong financial foundation.
Your child’s future is the most important investment you’ll ever make, so start the conversation early. The trick is to start small and at home, using everyday examples to teach your children about money. Over time, you’ll be able to explain more complex topics, such as saving for future events, getting a credit card and buying a car. And eventually, the investment will pay off. You’ll be more likely to see your children grow into happy, financially confident adults.
Until next time,