Given how essential financial skills are to navigating life, why don’t schools or parents do a better job of teaching kids about money?
I believe it’s because most Americans don’t deal with their finances well, and avoid discussing money issues with anyone, including their kids.
Look at the mortgage crisis and how many families lost their homes - almost $4 million. How about the amount of student loan debt - $1.1 trillion. Not to mention, the $845 billion Americans with credit card debt.
Look, I am not perfect… when I graduated college, I was personally guilty of using credit cards and not paying them off, owning a vehicle I could not afford and having student loans on top of everything.
What makes me different from most Americans is that I decided to do something about it. I’m also committed to teaching my son how to make wise financial decisions as he grows up so he doesn’t make the same mistakes I did.
So, what can you do to improve your child’s odds of prospering financially?
- Make sure you have a strong financial plan and can clearly articulate your beliefs around money.
- Start talking to your kids about money early on in their life. Parents are the number one influencer on their children's financial behavior, so it's up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, investors, savers, and givers.
If you’d like to learn the basics of financial planning on your own, I recommend that you read:
The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money by Carl Richards.
Lastly, consider hiring a professional to help you.
Remember that the apple typically does not fall far from the tree.
Learning how to manage your finances will improve your relationship with your spouse and help your kids have a brighter, stronger future.
At Green Mountain Planning, I help couples develop a better relationship with their money so they can accelerate their savings, pay down debt, and accomplish their goals faster.
About the Author
Nestor Vargas provides comprehensive financial life management to help families and professionals, better communicate about their money life, accelerate their savings plan, and live a purposeful life. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, he is never paid a commission of any kind and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.