Educate Your Kids about the Value
of Saving Money and Budgeting
By Mary Jo Rapini LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
American adults are concerned about their personal finances, as well as the
national debt, many teenagers seem to feel extremely optimistic about their
finances, according to a recent poll by Junior Achievement USA, a non-profit
organization dedicated to educating students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship
and workforce readiness.
The reason that teens are so happy-go-lucky
about their finances is because they expect their parents to take care of them until they are 27 years old. This is quite a change of
attitude, compared to 20 years ago, when most kids couldn’t wait to leave home and get out from under mom and dad’s watchful eye.
The fact is
that schools do not have time to teach the kids about saving money, budgeting,
opening a savings account or any of the other issues related to finances. This education must come from
parents because mom and dad are still the number one
influence on how their children save money, budget and pay for expenses.
This article offers ways to help your
children understand the value of a dollar, so
that they will be more realistic about their future and
their money — instead of depending on yours.
It all begins with a piggy bank — and
expands into savings accounts, bonds and other types of investments. Begin when
your child is a baby. No age is too young to begin teaching your child the
importance of money and saving. Saving money for college or higher education
begins with the first day of your child’s life.
educate kids about saving
best when chores are rewarded with money, so use this opportunity to teach them
that some of their money should be put into savings. Parents who talk to their
kids about saving some money will raise kids who automatically have money
Do understand how many of today’s teens view money
According to the Junior Achievement USA poll,
teens expect to live with their parents longer because many of them are unsure about their ability to budget or use credit cards. Of the teens surveyed, 33 percent said they
do not use a budget and 42 percent were not interested in learning to budget.
majority of the kids polled thought students were borrowing too much to pay for
college, only 9 percent of them were currently saving for college. And one
third had not even talked to their parents about higher education.
your child appreciate a bargain
children to price shop and search for bargains. This can be taught by clipping
coupons and checking prices from
one store to another. It also helps your child re-evaluate how much they
want something. Sometimes this alone will deter them from spending money on a
frill they do not really want or need.
pay an allowance without chores
No chores, no allowance. An allowance without work
is similar to paying someone for vacation or for existing. Who does that in the real world? Why would you teach
your child this lesson?
Do not forget to model positive behavior
example that you can not have everything you want. Explain to your child that you have to earn enough to buy the things you want. Living within
your means and teaching your children to do the same is part of parenting. And
lessons taught young correlate highly with adults who understand the importance
of saving and budgeting.
Do not give children everything they want
Many mothers and fathers parent with guilt —
instead of using the discipline of teaching their children about money. If you give your children what they want, you are telling them that you don’t think they can earn it. Confidence is built when we work toward a goal or desire, and our hard work pays off.
Do not overlook the need to discuss college debt
Results from the Junior Achievement USA poll
found that one third of teens had not even talked to their parents about higher education. This is quite problematic, especially since college costs and debt have
reached an astronomically high number, and the average young adult finishes college with at least a $20,000 debt.
is a huge problem in our country. Today’s kids are taking out huge loans under the advisement of financial
counselors. However, these kids will never be as prepared for what to expect in regards to their financial debt after
college, as the kids being taught young by fiscally-responsible parents.
Keep in mind
that your kids do not need the “stuff” money can buy half as much as they need
the time you give teaching them how long it takes to save for that “stuff.” It
is vital for parents to educate their kids about the importance of beginning
with a piggy bank and expanding into savings accounts, bonds and other types of
investments. Additionally, saving
and working for your money, shopping for bargains and not getting
everything you desire will help kids grow into mature, money-savvy adults.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a
psychotherapist, author, public/keynote speaker, and television and radio
commentator. Growing up as the sixth of nine children, she learned at a young
age that family, not things, is key to true happiness. She grew up knowing she had wealth beyond imagine because
of her family. She shares this insight with others whenever and however she
can. Learn more at maryjorapini.com
Tweet me: @maryjorapini.