June 10, 2018 by Administrator

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“Don’t waste the birthday check grandma gave you on nonsense!”
“That’s the third package you ordered from Amazon this month!”
“The bank just sent an email that your account is overdrawn – again! When are you going to learn?”

Sound familiar? Spending money and tracking finances are not the easiest topics to broach with your kids. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. The younger they are, the easier it is to start teaching them smart financial habits. But, it’s never too late, especially if your “little one” is heading to college or full-time employment.

If you are unsure how to start the conversation, here are four lessons for you to share:
1. An ATM is not a magical money-making machine. The bank keeps money safe, like kids’ piggy banks. In simple terms, there is a fixed amount of cash held in your account and you can only access that amount – no more – or you are charged a fee.

2. Managing money and budgeting takes practice. Say your kids spend most of their allowance on frivolous knick-knacks. They may not have enough left over for the must-have, can’t-live-without, trendsetting “thing” all their friends own. Ouch! You can take this opportunity to explain the ins and outs of saving for the future, even if it’s only until next month.

3. Find a way to keep track of their savings and spending. Let’s face it…even adults have trouble with knowing where their money is going, so this is a fit lesson for kids and parents. Make a two-column list in a notebook, open a spreadsheet on the computer or use an old wallet or purse to store receipts and bank statements.

4. Share. Then share some more. Teach your children that money doesn’t always have to be used to buy things. Show them how to donate a portion of their cash to charity or pay their tithes, and how to make it an ongoing habit. It’s not about how much they give but establishing the practice.

An encouraging conversation about these four subjects can provide a giant leap forward for your children’s money management skills (and you might learn a few things along the way).

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