I don’t have children yet. There, I said it — I don’t have children yet, but I’m about to talk to you about children. I am a proud auntie and find that my nieces and nephews benefit from my advice, so I hope that you won’t write me off either.
One of the biggest things on everyone’s mind right now is definitely the economy, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think that art of the reason why we’re in such a mess now is that we never really took time to educate ourselves on finance — we let other people have that information. We decided that other people were going to be able to handle our money better than we could.
Now that dream is gone, and we’re left making sure that we can pick up the pieces and start over. So, where do you really focus your time? You have to make sure that you’re looking into things from the perspective of teaching your children the ins and outs of personal finance.
A troubled economy can cloud the conversation. You don’t want your children to grow up fearing money, or thinking it it’s something that they will never, ever have in their lives. That’s just not the type of lesson that you want to bring to your children at all. It would be a lot smarter to tell them that money is neutral. It’s what we do with money that makes the difference. If we invest in our education, is that a bad thing? No! You want to get the most that you can out of the process of going to school so that you can get a good job.
What about if you are speaking to younger children? Getting them to understand that money has a purpose may be a bit different, but it’s still something that you need to do. When you’re going to the grocery store, let them help you find what costs least. That gets them using the lesson they learned in school to really give you the school on things from a financial standpoint. You can even have them start calculating how much things are separately — 2 pack, 4 pack, 6 pack, etc.
The more you make money sound like an everyday thing, the more it will actually be an everyday thing in the eyes of your children. Keeping the lines of communication open will make it a lot easier to actually handle your finances — there’s no waiting, no idea that you’re not going to be able to take care of the things that matter to you. It’s just a matter of looking at things from the right perspective and pushing forward. Don’t overload your child with information and they will certainly be just fine!