Friday, September 27, 2013

Talking money with kids

Discuss your plans beyond initial retirement years 
There are financial decisions to make as you approach old age, from providing for your care to putting a power of attorney in place in case you are someday no longer able to make your own decisions. Let your kids know your plans so they can help ensure your needs are met and your interests are protected.

Continue financial discussions even when they reach adulthood
When an adult child first moves out, it can be a critical time for his or her finances. Make sure your children are handling things responsibly and not feeling overwhelmed. They may be reluctant to bring up problems themselves, but raising the topic of money casually may ease some of their hesitation.

Discuss financial basis with kids
Teach your high school age kids how to set up a budget and manage a checking account. Also talk to them about credit and the hazards of accumulating too much debt. Many kids this age are naturally cynical, so play to this by explaining how advertising is often geared toward getting people to buy first and ask questions later. 

Demonstrate smart buying
Show that you plan your purchases in advance and look for bargains, rather than buying on impulse. Witnessing that type of restraint may help your children control their own buying impulses.

Have your kids earn what they want:  teaches value 
While it's fine to treat your kids from time to time, don't get in the habit of reflexively buying whatever they ask for. Encourage your kids to set goals and agree on ways to earn what they want. This can help teach the fundamental of work, money and rewards.

Show that you take bills seriously
Even small children will pick up on how you view this responsibility. Discuss how paying bills provides a solid foundation for financial health. By using water and electricity conservatively will help minimize monthly utility cost and allow more money to "play with".

Don’t argue over money in front of the kids
You should avoid arguing in front of your children. Money is known to be one of the leading areas of tension in relationships. Instead, try to display the ways you and your spouse practice cooperation.
Lifetime gift
With tight budgets for working families and high expenses for senior care, not everyone is going to leave an inheritance to the kids. But there is one thing of value you can be sure to hand down: a good set of money skills. The federal Head Start program says that by age 5, kids have already started to observe money in action. It’s never too early to teach responsibility. 

Good health, 
Trisha M. Pacenti RN, BSN › Parents › Money