Kids & Money

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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Kids & Money

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:20 pm

When did you start teaching your kids about money and what lessons did you think were most beneficial?

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Re: Kids & Money

Post by KlingKlang » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:08 pm

The most important thing to keep in mind is that 99% of what your children will learn about money (and most other things) is from observing the way that you treat it and not from what you say to them about it. My wife and I always treated money with the utmost respect. I remember when my daughter was about two she found a dollar on the floor of a store and the expression on her face as she walked over and solemnly handed it to me.

- Money is rare and valuable. While we need to exchange it for some goods and services we must always consider whether the value we receive is worth the money spent.

- When you have money left over after necessary spending you must save it. Never spend the money you save (This is probably our family motto). Money that you save can earn more money.

- Money is obtained by working for it. It doesn't magically appear from ATMs or cash back from store registers. Even if you make most purchases with credit or debit cards this is just the same as spending cash.

- My wife went back to work part time when our daughter was about ten. One thing that shocked her was to learn that all people don't earn the same amount of money from working.

- As far as the mechanics of the value of coins and bills they can be taught as useful examples of arithmetic around kindergarten age.

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Re: Kids & Money

Post by SQRT » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:54 am

I think the best lessons are shown by example. I never listened to anything my father said, but I certainly observed ,respected, and learned from his wise financial moves.

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Re: Kids & Money

Post by DarthSage » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:45 am

We started when they were quite young--luckily, my older two went to a school that had a real bank come in once a week, that they could make deposits into. Great teaching tool! More generally, we talk to them about working hard, spending less than you earn, saving for college and retirement and other big things, and so forth.

I just mentioned on another thread that DS12 wants an iPhoneXS. I just look at him and say, "What am I going to say, DS12?" And he goes, "Work hard, get good grades, go to a good college, graduate, get a good job, and buy it yourself!" Hmmm, do you think maybe he's heard that a couple times? :wink:

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Re: Kids & Money

Post by lthenderson » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:29 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:20 pm
When did you start teaching your kids about money and what lessons did you think were most beneficial?
I really didn't start teaching them about money until they showed interest in learning. Even then, I don't teach them everything all at once but gradually as situations arise. For example, my 12 year old knows that things cost money and that she has to save up enough money to buy things. She knows credit cards are paid out of checking accounts once a month. I haven't talked to her yet about interest rates, inflation, depreciation, etc but those topics will definitely come up when the time is right. My five year old knows the monetary value of coins but that is about the limit so far.

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Re: Kids & Money

Post by HIinvestor » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:55 am

I agree kids learn what they live. We always lived below our means and they do too. We always researched prices for larger purchases and they do as well. We rarely did impulse shopping and they don’t.

One thing that was pretty easy and effective was to give each of them say $1/day of our vacations together and hold it as their bank for their “spending $.” That way, if they wanted anything that we weren’t buying for everyone, they’d have to decide whether to spend it save that spending $. No whining and when it was gone, it was gone. They got pretty good and looking carefully through gift shops and snack bars and deciding whether it was worth THEIR money and the no whining was great!

The “kids” are now 28/30. They are great at living below their means and financially secure.

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