Managing money is one of the most critical skills we must master to function effectively as adults. However, public school curricula rarely address this issue directly. Instead, teachers cover it as a side topic or as examples in math.
So, just who is responsible for this critical education?
PARENTS can teach "money" lessons as soon as their kids can count. Otherwise, your toddler may reach his own conclusions about "where money comes from." He may decide it does not grow on trees; instead, it comes from an ATM (Automated Teller Machine).
Does your child expect you to buy her all kinds of goodies every time you go shopping? Or have you created a "budget" (sometimes referred to as an allowance) for such items?
If your family suffers a crisis such as job loss, accident, or a natural disaster, will your older child understand the financial consequences? Or does he still think that the electricity fairy magically turns on the lights for free?
If you have not taught your teenager certain money lessons, his first paycheck may be a big surprise. After all, $8 per hour for 40 hours is $320 in your pocket, right?
WHAT WILL MY CHILD LEARN?
Toddlers, young children, teenagers, and young adults can gain an understanding of money suitable for their age group. And the younger they are, the simpler it is for a parent to start money coaching. You may find that you are such a talented teacher that your child opens her own profitable business and supports you!
Here's a sampling of some topics/exercises by age group:
What is Money?
Counting Using Coins
Adding and Subtracting Using Coins
Supplementing What's Taught in School about Personal Finance
When "Savings" at a Store Sale is Costing Money
Why You Can't Ignore Paying Taxes
Guessing the Dinner Bill and the Tip
Performing Work Around the House on a "Contract" Basis
How Credit Cards Work
What is a 401(k)?
The Pitfalls of Borrowing and Lending Money
Use the Internet, children's books, books for parents, and your own knowledge to help raise independent, financially savvy children. The payoff comes when as young adults, they handle financial issues confidently based on prior knowledge and experience. At this point, you will understand what a powerful legacy you have left your children and their children.
Valerie Mills is a sales copywriter specializing in direct mail and web advertising. She has written sales letters, web pages, and brochures for the finance, self-help, and education areas. Using her background and experience as an educator and corporate trainer, Valerie has also written several articles and an ebook for parents titled "Practical Ways To Develop Your Child's Financial Intelligence" at http://www.booklocker.com/books/1822.html.
Contact at [email protected]