It’s time to have the ‘talk’.... that is, the money talk.
My daughter is a beautiful creative soul, much more interested in fashion creations and saving the world than business endeavours. I try to embed financial management into her everyday life in a way that will help her achieve her heart-singing goals without bogging her down in dull details. It doesn’t work if she’s bored, confused or unengaged and has to happen organically, rather than in contrived situations.
My last two blog posts (“Kids, Chores and Finances” and “Lawnmowers”) have explored pocket money, chores and the life lessons that come with them. Today I discuss how we can integrate financial education into my children’s everyday lives. I’m aiming to do this from as young an age as possible, rather than through dedicated finance lessons when my kids are teenagers.
I liken it to my own family education… in sex. Mum is a nurse and has always been very practical about such things. I don’t ever remember having ‘The Talk’ but I also can’t recall not knowing what I needed to at any given point in my life - the knowledge was just there and my mum answered any questions with a pragmatic approach. Applying this method to financial education just seems like the right thing to do. Especially for children that don’t necessarily have a passion for all things numbers or dollar signs.
Where do you start?
Scott Pape advises that the best way to teach your children is by walking, not just ‘talking’... Set your own finances straight and explain it to the kids as you’re doing it. If you need help with this, go and purchase his book “The Barefoot Investor” (I don’t receive affiliate payments for this - I just think he is a master at simplifying the money game for families). Even if you are cruising, it’s still a good read and a great resource to help you explain the trickier finance concepts to your kids. It’s sequel, “The Barefoot Investor for Families” provides a fabulous finance education plan for children and I’ve adopted many of his ideas in approaching money matters in our family.
What if money-talk is taboo in your family?
Perhaps it's time to look inward to discover why you don’t discuss money with your children. How did you learn about money when you were young? What did your parents teach you about spending and saving as a teenager and young adult? Maybe you feel like you’re not in the financial position you hoped to be at this point in your life. Or possibly you’d rather your children would do as you say, not do what you do, when it comes to money management.
In her book “Make your kid a money genius (even if you’re not): a parents’ guide for kids 3 to 23”, Beth Kobliner looks into what NOT to discuss with your children when it comes to money She has some very valid points to consider when moulding an immature mind and attitude. For example, she suggests avoiding the discussion of which parent earns more - especially if one parent stays at home to run the house, calendar and care for the children. Both parents are contributing to the family even if one is not rewarded financially. The focus is on the team.
This week’s download is a simple prompt sheet to get a conversation started about money.
If you like sharing ideas, chatting or just want some insight into what others are doing, join the discussion on facebook (message me here to join). I’d love to learn how you tackle the ‘talk’!