“Don’t worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” —Robert Fulghum
To truly teach and instill financial responsibility in your child it is best to lead by eXample, eXample, eXample! When you place value on hard work and sensible money management skills, you show your kids the way to a successful financial future. What you “do” has a much greater impact than what you “say”.
Talking with your children about money can be difficult, but teaching them responsibility through example will be natural. Let’s explore some simple ways that can help you set a good example when it comes to money management:
Credit — Have a good credit rating. Explain to your kids that using a credit card and taking out loans can help give you a high score as long as you don’t over extend yourself and you pay your bills on time.
Debt — Live within your means and use credit cards with caution. Discuss with your children how you intend to pay off debt as quickly as possible in order to avoid large interest payments.
Shopping Tips — Each time you make a purchase explain why you are choosing one brand over another. Many times a generic brand is less expensive and no different than a popular name brand. This can save you money and also help justify the times you do prefer the designer or name brand.
Be Mindful of Daily Spending Habits — We often purchase things on the go and these small daily purchases can add up quickly. They can also influence your child and promote costly impulsive spending habits. So fill your coffee cup or water bottle from home, and consider packing healthy snacks. Explain how much you save on a daily basis with these small changes.
Entertainment — The abundance of activities available in today’s world is overwhelming and sometimes costly, but on special occasions they may be worth the expense. Take part and discuss the many free entertainment options that are available on a more regular basis. Look into memberships for museums and local clubs for activities. Also check for local free events and never dismiss a walk in nature or a picnic in the park.
Never underestimate your power as a parent. It’s never too late or too early to start teaching your kids the values they need in life. Whether it is responsibility with money or something else, leading by example is always the best option!
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