After the money tree dies - teaching kids about money

March 5, 2012 | Teresa

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Kids and money image"If you aren't making money, you are spending it"  was a favorite phrase my Dad repeated many times during my childhood.  Like most families, he didn't get much of a chance to spend it, working long hours to support a stay at home wife (this was the 50's) and a family of 6 kids who liked to eat and spend money when they had it.  Needless to say, we all began working at a pretty young age at some not so pleasant jobs so we could buy the things that teenagers want.  And I don't think we were so different from a number of our friends, who had steady after school jobs.

Flash forward to today, where many kids can get all the way through high school and university without ever having to earn a buck.  The Bank of Mom and Dad have provided for everything.  Increasingly more young adults are running into financial troubles because they never have had to manage or earn money.  

There is a wealth of information out there to assist parents and young adults.  How to teach your kids about money makes some of the following suggestions for parents of young children:

  • Give children control of money  - take some money that you have in your budget and give them control of it - such as money for clothes
  • Teach your kids about earning with pocket money - give your child some money every week - earned or unearned - your choice.
  • Teach your kids to save for money goals  - want to buy a big ticket item?  you will have to save your money to get it.
  • Teach your children how to create a budget - it doesn't have to be complicated, just teach them how to plan

Check out an interesting article that appeared in the New York Times, entitled "The Frugal Teenager" that chronicles a family's forced decision to begin saying no to their teenage children.

The past few years have garnered a wide variety of books on this topic.  Check out the following titles available at TPL branches:

Kids and money money smart   Kids and money no more mac   Kids and money not your parents

Kids and money rich dad poor   Kids and money smart savy   Kids and money top 50

Want even more information? check out my colleague's earlier blog on this topic as well.

North York Central's Business Department is hosting programs entitled "Generation Next", which will include a program on managing your finances. 

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