I have always had a passion for teaching strangers and my family the importance of budgets, investments, financial wellness and ultimately achieving financial freedom. After finally transitioning from a Corporate Accountant to a Financial Advisor, I knew it was time to follow my passion and to specifically target moms like me. However, not only did I want to educate and train moms on how to financially sustain themselves successfully. I also wanted to show them how to raise financial savvy kids. My financial education is geared to shed light on my mistakes and triumphs. My goal was to also help motivate them to educate their children on healthy money habits early. I remember sitting down with my daughter explaining to her my credit report. It was very uncomfortable at first because it reminded me of an adult report card. I had given her a raise in her allowance, but it was time to go into further depth about the purpose of financial wellness.
I want to share with you some of the tools I use to teach my children about money. My most common practices are as follows:
- Budget– My life did not get better until I put myself on a strict budget. It is amazing how much frivolous spending that you can engage in if you do not monitor your cash flow properly. My first financial lesson started with sitting down with my children and explaining to them my budget. I am the type of mom to give in to the store wants that my children seem to have daily. A part of me likes to live life like it is my last, the other part is a strict saver. Having a budget bridges the gaps of my two extremes. I explain to them that we can have abundance, we can buy the things we desire; however, we also need to save and spend our money in places that will benefit us in the present and the future. My daughter is put on a budget when she receives her allowance. She is now apprehensive about spending all her money at one time.
- Reality Check – I explain to my children real life. The most effective way in my household is to make them contribute in a creative way. We all have bills. I do not know anyone who gets an entire check to spend on their wants. If you know someone kudos to them. However, most people have to contribute a portion of their earnings to their cost of living. My daughter does chores and she receives allowance. However, now that she is older and wanted a cell phone, she is required to give a small portion of her allowance back just for her phone bill. I in return put the money in a savings account for her. There are many ways to show them real life money skills this is just a very straightforward way to show her how to pay for bills.
- Saving games – Monopoly was taught to Heaven from a family friend, but it is a great tool to discuss money. It is always handy to keep a piggy bank around. Or maybe even striving to save a certain amount per day or per week. A savings account is a great start for your children who want to save for their personal wants or even towards their future. My daughters favorite saving game is for every “A” she gets, I agreed to contribute $5 dollars to her savings account. She will later be able to use the money to buy what she wants.
- Don’t be embarrassed– Show them your credit report, tell them your mistakes, share with them your cash flow. Don’t be ashamed of your current financial circumstance. Most parents want what is best for their children. The best way is to be candid and keep it real.
- Start them Young– My son is two but I also teach him how to save. Stop thinking when they get older I will explain to them the importance of money. Molding their mindset is best started earlier in life. We should get our children in the habit of understanding how to create a better life and financial future for themselves. My son may be young, but he has his own savings account. He also knows exactly what it means to earn a dollar. Matter of fact, his favorite song is written by recording rap artist 21 Savage called Bank Account.
What ways are you teaching your children about financial wellness?