Do you talk with or include your kids in financial conversations? Are you afraid to share with them when you are struggling with your finances? Why? Don’t!
Most of us grew up during a time when our parents did not discuss bills or when money was tight. They thought it was best this way. I remember when my dad lost his job and my mom made sacrifices so we wouldn’t miss a beat. I wish, though, that she or my dad would’ve shared their challenges with me. It was a teachable moment.
For a while, my husband and I practiced the same as generations before us. We didn’t let our kids know when were faced with financial challenges. It wasn’t until we were faced with selling our house and having to uproot our kids from the only place they knew as home. We didn’t divulge everything to them but they understood that something was going on.
We decided to express to them that it was not forever, but that we would have to go without a few things for a while. Surprisingly they were ok with it as long we all stayed together.
So I often talk to the kids when they want to make purchases with money they have either earned from a small job, birthday, or good grades. When they want something, I ask them if they are willing to pay for it, if it is a need or want, and is it worth the price they are willing to pay. From there they can decide how they spend their money.
My son is a young DJ entrepreneur for various kids’ events. After he receives payment from events he knows that he has to deposit it into his savings account that I monitor. When he wants to make a purchase we talk about it. One day he asked for a pair of gym shoes which were priced at $100. I obliged because he had received good grades and was well behaved. But he had to pay for them himself. We went to the mall and I told him we would shop around. He found a pair he wanted after a couple stores and they were $99. I convinced him to go into one more store and if he didn’t find them he could come back and purchase from the previous store.
At this last store, he found a pair of shoes for $59 that he really liked. He even found another pair in a different color for the same price. He showed them to me and said I think I will buy both pair since I can get 2 for the price I was willing to pay for 1 pair. I agreed but was jumping up on the inside because I knew I was doing something right and he understood the value of a dollar.
Parents please consider discussing finances or just the basics with your children as early as the age of 2 years old. Consider the following:
- They can start with counting and saving with pennies in a piggy bank
- They will understand how to make better financial decisions at an early age.
- As they get into their adulthood, they are less likely to make impulsive purchasing.
- They will pass along to future generations
Tonisha Brown is a wife and mother, and the founder of Living in Abundance where she believes in bridging families together through fitness and finance.