Tips for Financial Success
Use real-life experience as a guide.
Our two cents
You are your children's primary example when it comes to saving and money management. Be open with them about financial sacrifices you might be making and why, and encourage them to do the same with their own money.
Sharing and celebrating accomplishments provides an opportunity to teach financial lessons and help kids take steps toward financial independence. From managing an allowance to helping plan for college, these real-life events can bring basic financial concepts to life. They also give kids the chance to feel proud and makes learning about money a positive thing.
Here are some suggestions as you help your kids handle financial challenges:
- Give your kids an allowance and encourage them to use it the way they want—but talk to them about good saving practices first. Letting your kids make their own choices helps them develop an understanding of the value of money. As your children get older and develop more interests, their priorities will shift, which will present more opportunities to help them learn about budgeting and making smart choices.
- Talk with your kids about your own financial tradeoffs. Explain, for example, that you're forgoing an expensive vacation in order to put some money away for the future.
- Give them an incentive to save. An effective way is to match your kids' savings. For example, you could contribute $1 for every $10 they put in their savings account. You can also teach them that, when they are adults, it's likely their employer will make matching contributions to their savings in a company-sponsored retirement plan.
- Involve your kids in household financial management. At the grocery store, ask younger kids to comparison shop for cereal. Older kids can help with administrative tasks like paying bills so they can get an idea of what it takes to run a household.
Want more ideas? Read Carrie’s answers to real questions about kids and money.