It’s okay to talk about money with your kids.

The lifelong impact of dinner table dialogue.

Even when they don’t act like it, your kids are listening to and hearing what you have to say about money –– everything from chatter over household expenses and bills to pay, to telling a store clerk that a certain item is beyond your budget, to your fretting over a pending tuition payment. 

 

You might remember hearing your own parents talk about the family budget, or saving for a vacation, or how much they could spend on a new car, new furniture, new clothes, school supplies, and why you “didn’t need that” whatever “that” might be. 

 

The dinner table was a traditional forum for such discussions.  Who doesn’t remember hearing a parent say, “when I was your age, we had to work all summer for our fun money... we waited until our birthday or Christmas for new toys... we wore our older siblings’ hand-me-down clothes...” and on and on. 

 

The fact that so many of us can recall these money talks, often in great detail, means they made an impact.  It was a great teaching opportunity for parents and learning opportunity for kids.  These opportunities still hold true today.  Talking about money with your kids is still time well spent.

 

Here are some tips for engaging your kids or grandkids in talking about money and building the next generation of dinner table dialogue and memories.

 

MAKE IT RELEVANT

Whether the kids are begging for a jungle gym for the yard, a day at an amusement park, or a ski weekend, include them in the conversation about how to prioritize their wants versus the family’s needs. Discuss with them the costs of their wants, and the sacrifices that may be needed to purchase what they feel is important.  Today’s tech-savvy kids can go online to research and compare the cost of items, experiences and trips.  Older kids can create a spreadsheet and provide a cost-comparison report for the family to review.  

 

MAKE IT FUN

Want to talk to your kids about saving, spending, donating to charity, creating a budget and don’t know where to start?  There are books galore to help you.  With a quick visit to amazon.com, we found a bevy of titles for kids of all ages, toddlers to teens, with fun illustrations, puzzles and money-oriented games for the whole family. If you prefer online teaching, check out sites such as www.parents.com or www.daveramsey.com for kid-focused lessons about money. Whether a book or website, make the learning experience a family affair to give it more meaning and impact. 

 

MAKE IT REWARDING

Getting kids to understand that money needs to be earned before it can be spent, and that earning requires doing some type of work in exchange for the money can be one of the tougher lessons to teach.  Some families have great luck in making a list of weekly chores for each child and assigning an amount of money for the completion of each task –– all of which adds up to a performance-based allowance, if you will. 

 

The goal is to include children of all ages, assign age-appropriate tasks, and check off a job well done.  For example, even a two or three-year-old can take their non-breakable drinking cup and plate from the table to the sink, put their shoes in the closet and dirty clothes in a hamper.  Older kids can take out the trash, make their bed, load the dishwasher, help with yardwork, etc.  In exchange for performing their chores, they receive the total amount of money they’ve earned for the week.  (NOTE:  Chores not completed are not compensated.  Stick to your guns on this one.)

 

MAKE IT ASPIRATIONAL

One family we’ve met has a bucket list generated by their sons, ages four and six.  Never too young to dream.  What’s on the boys’ bucket list?  A trip to Disney World.  A trip to the National Air & Space Museum.  A big house with a swimming pool.  A trip to the moon.  And helping the less fortunate families in their city.  Nothing wrong with those aspirations.

 

Have favorite tips or resources of your own for teaching kids about money?  We’d love to hear them. Want to know more about family budgeting, generational wealth building, and personal financial planning, give us a call at 513-618-7080.  We’d love to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE® today and for generations to come.

 

At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management.  In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.

 

If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more.  Let’s talk.  It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review.  Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.

 

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This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.