I have spent the past 4 days volunteering with Junior Achievement in two different grade 10 classes. The topic, one of my favorites, Money and Investing. I love to educate kids about money. I have delivered this class many times but for some reason this time I found myself inclined to ask how many students hear about money and finances discussed in their homes.
4 Out of 48 Students said that they heard anything or ever talked about money in their homes – That is only 8%!
I was honestly shocked for the first time in a long time. No wonder so many of my clients complain about not knowing anything or ever learning about money. Now I do think that the basics should be taught in schools (and some of it is) but let us put some parental responsibility back and start teaching our kids now so they don’t make the mistakes we wish we hadn’t.
Here are 5 easy ways you can talk to your kids about money.
- Ask your kids what they know – This is a great way to find out what ideas your kids have about money and it will give you an opportunity to correct false beliefs.
- Talk about it at dinner – Dinner is one of the few times that everyone can sit down and talk about their day, make it really casual but bring it up once and a while.
- Allowance – If you don’t have your kids doing any chores or earning an allowance START! It doesn’t have to be anything two fancy or a great amount of money but it is a great way to get them to start learning money basics. Teaching them to save part and spend the other bit can help them to see the benefit of budgeting and saving from an early age.
- Pay the bills – but explain what you are doing. I have had more than one client that says their only memory was Mom or Dad paying the bills and seeming stressed. Perhaps if their parents had explained to them what they were doing exactly the memory may have formed a bit differently.
- Lead by example – Kids learn from watch they see and hear as they grow up. If you are telling them to save money but spending like it is your last day on Earth they are going to become confused quite quickly. Most of the time I use cash so my kids can see when I am spending money, a credit card or debit card doesn’t have quite the same effect (on child or adult).
I remember when my kids and I were at a bank machine taking out some money and I asked my son,
Me: “Where does the money come from?”
Son: “The bank machine”
Me: “And how does it get there?”
Son: “Someone puts it in the machine, but you can get it because you work for it”
The gentleman beside me burst out laughing and I simply looked at him and winked…
I should mention my son was 6 at the time. He may be young but he is starting to understand money basics. In fact sometimes he teaches me some lessons, here are 5 lessons my kids have taught me about money.
We do the same thing with both kids so they get a firm understanding from a young age. Once they have the basics down I can’t wait to start teaching them more about investments and passive income!
Do you have a favorite way you have taught your kids about money?
I would love to hear it – please comment! Don’t forget to like our page on Facebook www.facebook.com/moneymiraclescoaching