As a mom of two young daughters, teaching my children about money and finances is very important. I often hear myself saying, “Mommy and Daddy work to pay for our life.” The other day I asked my six-year-old if she knew what that meant. She said, “Yes, it means that we have to work to make money to pay for our house, car and toys. Over the years, my husband and I have saved to help with future expenses that usually come with bringing up a child.
About a month after each child was born, we visited our local branch and opened a Money Market account to benefit each child. By taking this small step, we have saved money each month to help pay for school clothes, birthday parties and Christmas presents. The next step we took was to set a 529 College fund to set aside money for college. This fund can pay for college, living expenses, and books for a college student. The great option with the 529 fund is that it is transferable between children should one or the other receive scholarships that cover normal expenses.
The best thing you can do for your children regarding financial education is to be a role model by making smart choices with your own money. Evaluate your needs and wants and make a budget to stay on track with monthly expenses. Children’s habits are often a result of parenting. By teaching your kids the value of money at an early age and sharing financial experiences, you help create healthy financial habits that will carry over into adulthood.
Lastly, don’t forget to make saving money fun. One idea is to have each child pick out a piggy bank they like; pigs, hippos and superheroes all apply when encouraging our future leaders to put money aside for a rainy day.