Saturday, September 16, 2006

Teaching Kids About Money

Now that my wife and I are getting ready to have a child, I have been thinking alot about how we plan to educate him/her, especially about money, saving, and investing. I know that when I was growing up I just always knew it was there, we never talked about money or saving so I pretty much never did. I also didn't know about investing, but I sure knew about maxing out my credit cards. It wasn't until recently that I have gotten into investing and saving for retirement. Dan Caplinger's article Make Finances a Family Affair, on Motley Fool states that "Teaching your children about money is an extremely important part of your parental responsibilities. Because most schools lack any significant education about finances, it's up to [the parents] to create a strong foundation of knowledge that your children can use to guide their financial decisions. I know that I would be better off if I would have learned to save and invest at a younger age. One thing that many of the articles that I read left out is philanthropy. I believe that no matter how much you make, it is always good to give some money back to your community, church, people in need, etc.... I believe that this is a lesson that is very important to teach our children. One thing my parents did teach me was to give back, even if it didn't seem like much, helping someone else is always a good thing.

How do you teach your child about money?

1) Start at an early age with change and a piggy bank.
2) Give a weekly allowance for chores and split up the money into savings, spending, and giving(philanthropy).
3) As they get older get them started with a savings account(maybe a high interest savings account).
4) When they are old enough teach them how to invest and make their money work for them.

Hopefully I will be able to give our child a better understanding of personal finance than I had. What do you think? and what are some other things that would we could teach our child about money and finances?