Family Planning

The following commentary is by Lea Saslav,
author of SAMS Teach Yourself Personal Finance in 24 Hours.

Getting Your Kids Off To A Good Financial Start

Think about it. Since the time your kids could reach up to the bathroom sink you've been teaching them to brush their teeth everyday, right? Every morning before they go to school and at night before they go to bed. You've also tried to get them to clean up and put away their toys before they go to sleep, instilling a good daily habit of orderliness and organization.

As they grow up and become young people, you try to keep up with their homework, their friends, what television shows they are watching. Why do Moms and Dads do it? It's simple. You're trying to instill good habits in your children, no matter what their age--not only cleanliness and mental hygiene but self-worth and ultimately self-confidence, all principles which hopefully they will take with them safely through their life, into their own independence.

In the same way, keep in mind you are also the caretaker of your children's financial health. The earlier you instill good financial habits in your children, the better off they will be.

With that in mind, here are several Tips for Raising Financially Savvy Girls courtesy of Girls, Incorporated, a Manhattan-based thinktank and policy group with a goal of financially empowering young women in their teenage years. Of course, all of the above can also be incorporated when describing money to your young man as well, but knowing that young women can often be the ones who get left behind in the financial game, mothers of daughters may want to make a special note:

  1. Make Money Moments

    Help girls understand that careful spending and financial planning are part of everyday life. If you have a checkbook, balance it with your daughter. Clip coupons with her and talk about why you use them and how you can save money.

  2. Dollar and Dream

    Use the Sunday classified ads to talk about salaries, the cost of renting an apartment, or making a purchase like furniture or a car. Create a scenario for your daughter to pick her favorite job. How much money would she make? Which apartment would she rent? Which furnishing could she afford to buy?

  3. Save for a Rainy Day

    Whenever your daughter gets money, whether it's 25 cents or $25, encourage her to save some of it to use at a later date. Ask her to pick a toy, a book, a music CD, or any other item she would like to purchase. While she is saving, "visit" that item at the store to encourage her interest. Discuss her allowance and how to determine how much money to spend for things she wants now and how much to save for later.

  4. Take Stock in America

    Pretend to buy a share of stock in your daughter's favorite company, toy store, or restaurant. Watch the company's commercials, advertisements, news articles, and the stock's growth and decline in the business section of your local paper and on television. If your daughter develops an interest, call the business for its annual report. The annual report describes the company and its holdings.

    As we will continue to explore the ins and outs of raising a healthy financial child in this column, I hope you will email me as well with your stories and anecdotes of how you have raised and are raising your children to be healthy, financially responsible adults. You can reach me at LASASLAV@aol.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

 



 

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