Our Kids and Their Money

By: Terry J. Rigg

Things didn't change much when I grew into an adult. I gotmy paycheck and made sure that it was gone just as soon asI could get rid of it. Sometimes I even paid some bills.

It took me a long time to realize that some of your money ismeant for tomorrow and what is meant for today has to coveryour obligations first.

It would be easy to blame my folks for not teaching me theright way to manage my money. It would be even easier toblame the schools for not having a class for real life finances.The problem is that my folks or the schools didn't pay the pricefor me not learning these lessons. My wife and family did.

It's time that things change. We have gone generation aftergeneration of having more debt and less knowledge of how to deal with it. We have to educate our kids, starting as soon asthey know how to count, about the necessity of saving andcontrolled spending.

I believe that, if we can afford it, we should consider giving out kids an allowance, not to ensure that they have money,but to pay them for what they do to help. Giving them moneyand not expecting anything in return is sending the wrongmessage.



If you can't afford an allowance, encourage them to find waysto earn their own money. Running errands, babysitting, mowinglawns are all things that neighbors and friends would be willingto pay for.

Just as important as encouraging them to earn their own moneyis to emphasize the importance of putting some of it away forthings they want in the future. Believe me, as a Father of 3 and a Grandfather of 6, they all have a big ticket item they have either seen on TV or that all their friends have that theyjust have to have.

One trick I've used is to make a deal with the kids. If they need tennis shoes, I would buy them. If I paid for them they got the $20 pair. If they wanted the more expensive shoes, they would have to make up the difference. It's amazing how often the $20 pair would do just fine when they found out the money would have to come out of their own pocket.

What I've been talking about up to now is just spending andsaving. There is a whole lot more that our kids need to know than that. They need to learn how to budget their money,effectively manage a checking account, know how to apply forloans and what they can expect to pay for the priviledge ofusing someone else's money, learn what they have to do tomake theirselves eligible for loans, how to control impulsebuying and the list goes on and on.

One other suggestion that I have is to get the kids involvedin your finances. No, they shouldn't have any control, butthey need to find out just how hard it can be to keep everythinggoing financially. It may even show them why you say no tothat $80 pair of Nikes.

It's not too late for our generation to get control of our moneybut, for many of us, it has been a struggle from day one. Wouldn't it be great if we could save our kids from going through what we had to. All it takes is knowledge and the willingness to pass it on to our kids and grandkids.

I have put together several links that may help you teach yourkids what they will need to know about their money. I hope theyhelp:

 The CompleteBudget and Bill Organizer

 Several Articles That Might help

KidsMoney.org

Helping Your Child Understand Money

MakingAllowances

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