Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Preparing the Kids Financially

A discussion came up two days ago with our kids about how they feel they aren't prepared to handle things financially and are afraid they will make mistakes. They are 17 and 13. The thirteen year old seemed the most concerned. The first thing I said was "You are lucky you have me for a mom because I am glad to help you along the way." I think they knew that already. :)

Here is what my girls know already:

  • You have to work for money.
  • How to make change for transactions.
  • How to use a debit card for payment at a store and online.They each have their own.
  • How to write a check, although they do not have a checking account.
  • It is good to save your money.
  • It is okay to spend some of your money.
  • They know credit cards charge interest if you don't pay it off right away
  • They know you can borrow money for a house or a car, which they have seen us do.
  • They know we can compare different options at a store to find the best price.
  • They know coupons can lower the amount you pay out of pocket for an item.
  • You can sell your used items to get cash.
  • They know you need to set money aside for retirement.
  • They have heard of insurance; health, auto and home.
  • The oldest daughter knows how to track her money in a check register.
  • That income it taxed and those tax dollars go to the government to decide how to use.
What the likely don't know yet:
  • How to open a bank account.
  • File income taxes.
  • How to determine withholding for taxes.
  • Where to save their money for retirement.
  • Different investment vehicles, such as CDs and mutual funds.
  • How to pay loans off quickly.
  • How to complete a budget (actually they have had a little experience with this in school).
  • How to chose insurance and what a premium and deductible are.
  • How credit scores affect interest rates on loans.
These lists are by no means comprehensive, but writing them out helps me realize they do know quite a bit, but clearly there are things they will need to learn. I sure don't think my 13 year old needs to know how to buy insurance just yet! I do plan to help them along the way. I also will try to bring up more topics at dinner to explain financial terms like 'deductible' and 'premium'. It sure won't hurt them one bit to have more information. 

Do you systematically teach your kids or grand kids about finances? Are they aware of quite a few things or nearly clueless when it comes to money and personal finance? Any good financial advice you learned when you were young that really stuck with you into adulthood?

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