Teaching Kids about Money

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Money isn’t always the most comfortable topic.

It’s even more uneasy when it is parents talking to kids about it, particularly if the parents aren’t exactly thriving in saving versus spending.

Truth be told, less than 50% of the population has a savings account to speak of, but instead live from paycheck to paycheck, paying bills when they can and the phrase “on time” being a relic of rhetoric that really means creditors and those asking for money will get it sooner or later.

The lack of emergency funds isn’t quite that new for the masses, most of whom really want to save money and do things the right way as it relates to money but struggle due to a bevy of reasons that are legitimate: lower wages, lack of raises, steady but not superb economy and savings account interest rates that could be described as “paltry” at best.

The flip side is a growing number of would be budgeters that are missing out on money that is free, such as companies offering 401K matching programs and you still not contributing nearly enough to take advantage of that steal of a deal.

That said, budgeting is about knowing your limits and living within your means, and that concept still escapes a good portion of the bill paying population, parents included obviously. So if mom and dad can’t handle money and aren’t good with their finances, what do you expect from the kids?

In short, not much.

That is why parents, even the ones who are struggling but know what they need to do, shouldn’t hesitate to talk to their kids about money and use techniques that have been around forever to show them the value of a dollar.

And while that phrase seems outdated and something you’d hear from your grandfather, it is relevant and goes a long way to teaching kids that money is about budgeting out rather than spending and wanting more from those same pockets of their parents.

One of the major issues as it relates to saving money and kids growing up into adults that can’t do that is the lack of education school gives. Kids don’t have classes on how to save money, balance a checkbook or especially what it means to have a 401K, how to invest on a basic level. Sure, you may get that in high school (and that’s a big maybe) and in some college classes, but what about making things like financial security and sanity a requirement in schools.

When that happens on a consistent level, perhaps parents can breath a little easier that their kids wont’ follow in their financial missteps.

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