Teach Your Children Well

We know that we should teach GradMoneyour children the “value of a dollar”, but the best way to go about it seems to escape us. Using an allowance may teach them to stretch a dollar, but in a pinch there’s more where that came from and they know it. Even when it’s tied to chores, an allowance doesn’t carry the responsibility of a job or the threat of being let go in slow times. Using board games and online games can be helpful as well, but there must be a large void in understanding because young adults continue to begin their careers saddled with debt and fully unprepared for the balancing act of income and expenses. They aren’t learning basic personal finance.
Personal finance encompasses everything in our lives that pertains to money and setting and achieving financial goals, and we would expect some level of personal finance to be a part of our education. Yet we learn personal finance mostly from watching our parents and trial-and-error experiences (theirs and ours). It’s not taught to a great extent in our school systems, and it isn’t talked about much among friends and family. We’re left on our own, for the most part, to get what we can from what we read, hear, and experience. Given this, we shouldn’t be surprised that for many people, personal saving is an afterthought and using credit is how almost everyone copes financially. Trial-and-error is often serving as the personal finance classroom.
In addition, the focus of the media and the majority of mainstream thinking today are contrary to sensible personal finance and achieving financial independence. We’re bombarded with marketing that attempts to separate us from our money, and promises that we’ll be better for it. These ads don’t come with a warning that debt is a cruel master and that consumption on credit is a very hard cycle to break. The warning has to come from us, along with practical personal finance principles that will benefit them now and for the rest of their lives.
We need to impart the principles of personal finance to our children, and teach them how to manage money efficiently. They need to understand how lifestyle choices and spending habits affect their financial health, recognize the consequences of accumulating debt and not saving, and appreciate the fact that careful planning will help them to achieve their goals. Their financial future depends on it.
Thanks for reading!

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