The first step to teaching your kids about money is talking about money.
“The most effective way to teach is by having frequent discussions and don’t ever lecture,” said Ted Beck, president, and chief executive of the National Endowment for Financial Education, in a recent Wall Street Journal article. “Look for teachable moments and always be willing to answer questions.”
Unfortunately, finding these teachable moments and answering questions can be difficult.
A 2015 T.Rowe Price survey found that 72% of parents experienced at least some reluctance to talk to their kids about financial matters, and 18% were either very or extremely reluctant. The most common reasons given were that parents didn’t want their children to worry about finances or thought they were too young to understand.
So, how do you start the conversation?
If you and your family are planning to eat out, talk through the price difference between the various menu options, and ask which meal your kids would choose. If they select the more expensive options, discuss what your family might have to give up later in the week.
Include your children in budgeting discussions
If you’re doing any kind of financial planning for the year, solicit input from your kids. Show them how you budget income and expenses. As their skills improve, try giving them challenges – such as finding a better phone plan, calculating the total monthly expense of owning a car, or sticking to a budget for back-to-school shopping or holiday gifts.
Open a savings account at OnPoint for each child in your family. This is the best way to help them to learn to save for what they find meaningful in life. As soon as your kids can write, have them fill out deposit and withdrawal slips. You can also guide teens through using a debit card and tracking their transactions.
A lifetime of good savings habits can start now!