As is the case with live TV, segments are quick and never long enough to hit on everything I’d like to cover–it also doesn’t help that I haven’t mastered the art of speaking in few words…the Italian in me loves to talk.
In the final minute of the segment, Angela mentions a few topics that I wanted to elaborate on to complement the couple we were able to address:
Note: This is hardly a complete list of ways to talk to your kids about money. As your kids get older there will be the need to have conversations about debt, student loans, wants vs. needs, and much more. But this is a great start while they are young.
- As your kids get old enough to have responsibilities around the house, introduce them to managing their own money by allowing them to earn an allowance. You choose the amount of the allowance–the dollars earned are less important than the lessons learned–and encourage them to break each dollar earned into different “buckets”. For example, for every dollar earned they can spend 20% (if they’d like), save 30%, “pay” 20% taxes (set these funds aside in an account for them that they don’t know about), invest 10%, give 10%, and have 10% free to allocate wherever they would like. Thanks to technology and the low cost of investing, your kids can invest into funds or even individual stocks (thanks to fractionalized shared) with very little money needed. Be sure to check your state laws to understand what account type you need to set up and when they will be in control of the assets in the account. More to come on investing…
- By introducing them to the behavior of saving for themselves, setting aside funds for taxes, being charitable, and investing for the long term you will be giving them the fundamentals to budgeting that so many adults struggle to master; these will be behaviors they will not forget.
- Now that your kids have their own money help them open a bank account–depending on the age they may only be able to open a savings account. In today’s environment they will not earn much interest but it will be a good exercise to move their money from a piggy bank to an actual bank and learn how the banking system works both for and against us.
- As mentioned above, if possible introduce your kids to investing by allowing them to actually invest real dollars.
- If it’s not possible to allow your kids to actually invest, it is still impactful to talk to them about investing and introduce them to the stock market. There are more adults than you’d think who grow up not knowing about the stock market or how investing can lead to life-changing wealth creation over time. There are websites that allow for paper trading, which is a great replacement for investing real dollars, however it won’t give them the full experience of investing…losing paper dollars hits a little different than losing real dollars.
- A discussion around compound interest is perfect for when they begin to invest or learn about investing. The sooner your kids learn about the power of compound interest and begin to build a nest egg to begin to grow, the better off they will be. Show them an online calculator that calculates the time value of money and show how a little saved and invested for a long time can amount to a meaningful sum of money.
- Experiencing the ups and downs of the stock market at a young age when the dollars are not large will help your kids develop better investment behaviors for when they have more money in their accounts later in life–stay diversified and avoid panicking is a great recipe for investing success.
- Not only will encouraging your kids to be entrepreneurial help your kids earn money to do all of the things I mentioned above but it will help them develop an invaluable skill–the ability to identify a problem or need and create a solution that people will pay them for.
- Encourage them to set up lemonade stands, shovel snow, cut grass, make bracelets, or anything else they turn into a mini business.
- Becoming an entrepreneur will also teach your kids life lessons like overcoming rejection, asking for a sale, hard work, determination, grit, taking risks, persistence, and building the confidence to bet on themselves–these lessons may not directly relate to money today but money (and finances) go well beyond just dollars and cents.
- The money earned is bonus!
As I mentioned in the segment, it’s never too early to start educating your kids about money. It’s time to move past the days of money being a subject we don’t discuss and make it a subject the entire family participates in–the kids don’t have to be a part of all of the financial discussions but including them will only help them learn how to manage money sooner than if they were left to learn on their own.
One final thought…as you talk about how and why your family manages money the way it does, be honest about the mistakes you’ve made along the way. Allow your kids to learn from your mistakes and possibly avoid making the same ones you made.
Links to books mentioned:
Michael Caras: Bitcoin Money (for the more progressive savers)
Games to play:
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.