Top Ten Things about Family Finances

Top ten things to know

1. Allowances are the best way to teach young children financial responsibility.
Habits learned early on will form the basis for a lifetime.

2. Avoid linking allowances too directly with household chores.
Instead, stress that all members of the household are expected to contribute to the family by performing tasks that benefit all.

3. When your child asks for a raise in their allowance, use this as an opportunity to teach economic values.

4. Teach the importance of paying bills.
Get your children involved early on in household spending decisions and simple bill-paying.

5. Illustrate the difference between long-term and short-term savings.
You can use concrete goals, for example, next weekend’s toy versus a new bicycle this summer.

6. Help children understand consumerism.
Restaurants are great opportunities to evaluate services rendered.

7. Set up a credit training program before they leave the nest.
Make sure your teens understand that credit is a privilege, not a right.

8. Make your teenager’s first credit card a secured card.
Think of it as a form of financial training wheels.

9. Get children used to the real world of savings and spending.
For teens who write few checks, money-market accounts are a viable option.

10. The sounder your own financial judgment, the better your kids’ will be.
Opportunities to demonstrate this will occur practically every day.

Next: Making allowances