7 Tips to Raise Financially Savvy Kids

7-tips-financially-savvy-kids-05-slSchool’s in session; and while in the classroom they’re learning their ABC’s and 123’s this is also a good opportunity to start teaching our children responsibility when it comes to finances.

Here are 7 tips to help you guide you shape your children into financially savvy adults:

1. Show them money going in, not just out.
If your kids only see you with drawing those $20 bills from the ATM, they’re going to think machines hand out money. Make sure they also see you depositing funds.

2. Teach them to set goals and save for them.
Label a jar with a set amount of money to be used for something specific. Start small-say,$5 to buy some ice cream and sprinkles. Collect $5 worth of change in the jar and count it out before buying the treat.Keep this money separate when you go to the store, so your child can buy the ice cream himself with the cash.

3. Differentiate between wanting and needing.
You need shoes, but you want the trendiest brand. You need food, but you want to eat out.Apply this rule to anything you buy and to any of their requests for “stuff.”

4. Make choices, not sacrifices.
Instead of saying ‘We can’t afford that,’ That’s too expensive,’ or just saying no, substitute a comment that expresses an intentional choice. Examples: ‘I want to stay home and visit state parks this year so we can save for a special vacation next year. ‘I choose to bring my coffee (or water, or soda) with me and not buy it at the convenience store so I can save that money for more important things.’ Instead of feeling that ‘no’ means sacrifice, scarcity, or embarrassment, children learn that life is about making choices.

5. Show them you’re planning for the future.
In addition to using a change jar to save for special treats, let your kids hear you talk about saving fora new roof, paying off the car, putting money aside to celebrate a birthday, saving fort heir education, and paying bills on time.

6. Give to others.
Along with that jar for ice cream,label another jar for charity. Make sure your children put a fixed percentage of their earnings and allowance in it. And make sure they see you giving to others, whether it’s tithing to the church, writing a check to an on profit, or volunteering for a charitable cause.

7. Turn off the shopping channel.
Keep TV time to a minimum to avoid the “buy me” ads that dominate. Also point out the marketing tricks that advertisers use, and make sure your kids understand how they try to sell.

Your Turn
Do you have tips to add to the list?  What are you doing now to raise financially responsible kids?  Leave your feedback in Comments, on the Patrick Parker Realty Facebook or Twitter pages and don’t forget to sign up for the monthly Patrick Parker Realty eNewsletter for more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.