Is financial education important? When this question is posed, most agree that it is very important. In fact, when surveyed about 85% of adults think that financial education should be taught in high school. That is an overwhelming majority. Keep in mind this comes at a time when 85% of the population would not agree on the color of the sky! Many states are taking notice and mandating financial education in their high schools because of this overwhelming public sentiment.
Who should provide and boost kids financial education? In an amazing twofer! Most agree that financial education should start early from parents teaching their kids. Most people learn their financial behavior from their parents, yet in a recent survey only 19% of parents speak regularly to their kids about finances. 83% of respondents said they wished they would have learned more about finances growing up. Given this information, why do so many parents feel uncomfortable talking with their kids about money. Most likely, it is simply a lack of confidence. Parents aren’t comfortable because they deem themselves to be less than experts. So here are some ways to boost your confidence and help the younger generation get their finances off on the right foot.
- Share With Your Kids
- Most of us have made both good and bad financial decisions over time. Share both with your kids. There is plenty to be learned from bad financial decisions. Did you take out too many student loans? Or maybe you overspent on a credit card because you didn’t have an emergency fund or because you didn’t consider the high cost of repayment. Did you delay or simply not put any money back for retirement? When it comes to financial mistakes this is the tip of iceberg. Use them to teach your kids and help make their financial lives better in the process. You probably even made some good financial decisions too. It is okay to show a little pride in your successes. Let your kids know about those as well.
- Remember to Make It Fun
- The fact is that kids like money. At least mine do! Also, a large portion of kids think they will be rich. When questioned on how they will build their wealth, the picture becomes a little murkier. My experience is kids like to talk about money. They like to imagine when they will be on their own and paying their own rent. They like to get a glimpse of adulting. The practical and immediate finances of adults is alien to most kids. Giving them a glimpse into the finances will both excite them and allow them to start building their own foundations for a healthy financial future. If you need a little help, look up financial literacy resources for kids.
- Ongoing Education
- As adults, we know that an education is never complete. In fact, an education needs to be exercised in order to keep it in working order. I know my math skills have certainly atrophied over the years! There are lots of tools and information that will help you maintain and improve your financial education. You can read up on financial articles such as this one. You can take a financial class or take part in financial coaching such as we offer here at Apprisen. Our financial education will give you confidence in your own finances and your ability to pass that education on to your children.
There are a vast number of free financial resources available online for you to adapt into learning lessons for kids. All you need to do is make the commitment.