Teach Money Habits at Any Age
By Randy Porzel, Private Vista Senior Advisor
With the kids back in school, we find ourselves falling back into our normal routine full of homework and other school activities. As a wealth management firm focused on family wealth transfer, we understand the need to raise financially responsible children – that begins with financial education as early as possible.
Here are some tips to raise financially responsible children at each stage of their life:
My wife and I began teaching our son about money as early as age 2. We would give him our loose change, to then be put in his Ninja Turtle bank. The exercise provided very little satisfaction but allowed him to visually see the money going somewhere while feeling the bank get heavier with each deposit. Today (age 4), he’s starting to understand his toys cost money. To which, his question is usually, “How many monies do I need to buy this?” As part of our counting exercises, we are practicing the different values of each coin and how those coins relate to value. For example, he knows that four quarters will buy him one of anything at the dollar store (we’ll spare the tax conversation until later).
To this point, “work” is defined as a place Mommy and Daddy go to pick up the money. As chores become a part of your kids’ daily routine, it may be time to introduce an allowance as an educational tool. This strategy helps your kids understand where money comes from and how it can be used – saved/invested, spent, and/or given away. As their savings increase, I encourage regular visits to the bank to visually see where their money is held, and the role interest plays. In some cases, parents may choose to “match” their kids’ savings to encourage this practice.
Ages 13 to 16
As your kids transition from middle school to high school, their needs and wants will grow with them. The $50 scooter they had to have 5 years ago is now a $2,000 laptop. They’ll also have access to part-time and summer jobs that will give them their own money to be responsible for. When that first paycheck comes in, sit down and help them understand how their pay was calculated and the various deductions – Social Security, Medicare, State, and Federal taxes. Once they learn to drive, help them understand the costs of this responsibility – insurance, gas, and maintenance.
Ages 17 to 18
College choice is a big decision, with an even bigger price tag. Even if you have the means to pay the bill, cost should be part of the conversation. It’s important to understand why they are choosing a specific college and how it relates to their degree and future career.
Beyond any education tool, money habits are learned by observing you, their parents. I recommend sharing your financial knowledge with your kids to be better equipped for the world that awaits them. Most importantly, they should understand that money can’t buy everything, including love, health, and happiness.
The views expressed represent the opinions of Private Vista, LLC and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendations, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person.
Additional information, including management fees and expenses, is provided on Private Vista, LLC’s Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.Tags: Financial Planning, Kids and Money, Money Habits for Kids, Randy Porzel