Money doesn’t grow on treesHow many times did you hear that saying as a youngster? For many of us, the only time we talked about money with our parents was when we were asking them for it.
By: Joe Harrison, Superior Telegram
How many times did you hear that saying as a youngster? For many of us, the only time we talked about money with our parents was when we were asking them for it.
If that also sums up your approach to talking about money with your children, it’s time to jump into the 21st century. It is more important than ever that we prepare our children for success; and that preparation should start early.
Here are a few simple ways you can start making sure your children learn about money and budgeting:
Talk about what things cost and how you budget. For small children, you’ll have to put it in basic terms they can understand. But, no matter what the age, it is important for them to know that you plan for purchases and bills as well as saving for the future. Be a positive example.
Don’t buy them everything they want. It’s a big, exciting world for many children and they tend to want everything they see. Youngsters need to understand that, in life, you can’t buy everything and there is a difference between wants and needs.
Open a savings account for them. When they receive money for holidays or special events, require them to put half in a savings account. Talk with them about something they may want and have them save for it; or offer to pay half if they save half the cost. Share the monthly statement with them so they can see how their money grows.
Don’t let them spend every dime or dollar they receive. If they blow all their money, and you’re constantly picking up the tab for other things they want, they will never learn about saving and budgeting. They’ll also expect you to keep bailing them out when they enter adulthood. Start early, by helping them understand the basic concepts of budgeting and saving.
Teach economic tolerance. They will always have friends who have more money than they do, and they will also have friends with less money in life. Children need to learn that money doesn’t define what someone is like or what kind of person they might be. What’s important is the person and not the money.
Finally, talk with your local banker. At Citizens Bank we have special accounts just for kid. It’s a great way to get them started and introduce basic money concepts. We also participate in education programs like “Teach Children to Save,” at area schools. We would be happy to help your child get off on the right financial foot.
Joe Harrison is the branch manager for Citizens Bank in Superior.