You know better than anyone how hard the grown-ups in your family have to work to keep the household running smoothly. Chances are, you’ve faced a few challenging moments – financial slip-ups or unexpected costs – that you may still be paying for now. Unfortunately, while our education system is well-geared towards earning money, the schools aren’t so on top of their game when it comes to teaching our kids how to handle money. For better or worse, that’s where parents come in.
If you’ve not yet addressed the subject of personal finance with your kids, it’s never too late to start. Maybe they’ve already started to develop some bad habits – but if you can get them thinking about their attitude towards money before the onus is on them to make a living, there’s still hope!
Teenagers are at the perfect age to start learning about budgeting and investing. They may have already saved up some pocket money, or be working a Saturday job. If so, it’s great that they already have some sense of responsibility. Now’s the time to talk to them about the future – particularly if they have ambitions of going to college. Investing isn’t just about laying down cash, but in putting time and effort into a long-term commitment.
Whatever age your kids are, there’s no better economic education for them than being open about your own financial life. Discuss issues together when they arise, and you’ll not only acclimatize your kids to potential pitfalls they may face in the future – you’ll nurture a bit of understanding as to why you can’t buy them that new smart phone this Christmas! For a few ideas on how to get more specific with them, have a look at this new infographic that highlights the level of learning you can expect your children to cope with, from kindergarten age until they start to earn for themselves.