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 


HELPING YOUR KIDS DEVELOP FINANCIAL SKILLS FOR ADULTHOOD 





arents accept that they will have to engage in difficult conversations with


their children. Sex, drugs, alcohol — there’s no shortage of uncomfortable topics. Among the educational conversations that should not be overlooked is teaching your kids financial skills. You are the main influence over how your children will behave with money as they emerge into adulthood, so it’s important to be proactive and responsible with the dialogue.


  Talk to your kids about money progressively. But don’t wait — habits form early. Begin as young as toddler-age, teaching money as a tool of exchange, equivalency, borrowing, trading and saving. At this age children are like sponges, absorbing more information


than we imagine. They are beginning to develop habits and skills that will last a lifetime.


As kids move to ages eight to ten, they should learn the time value of money. Some parents will introduce an allowance as a teaching tool. With an allowance it’s less about the amount you give and more about mechanics. An allowance should be based on family dynamics and capacity. Don’t use it as a reward, but tie it to specific responsibilities. If you provide an allowance, do so on a regular basis — almost as if it were a paycheck that your children have to make last. Be clear on what your kids need to pay for out of their allowance. It’s OK for them to make a mistake with their allowance, so don’t bail them out. With pre-teens and


teens, it’s time to get them a bank account and begin letting them use financial tools.


ISTOCK.COM


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