I’m only now learning habits that I wish I had when I was entering adulthood. I think I’m not alone here, but if I had these habits when I was young, I’d be pretty well off now.
Because of that, I plan to teach my kids about money, to give them the value of money, to teach them skills and habits that will get them off to a good start, and to have them learn by doing, and from my example.
As I’m late in learning some of these things myself, I’m also starting late in teaching my kids these habits and skills. However, it’s better late than never. What follows are some of the things I’m trying or have planned.
The included list is pretty decent and covers most of the basics. I would argue that some topics do require their own category, however. For instance:
College loans must be paid back. In high school, it seems like a good idea to go to the best possible school that you can and if you have to take out loans to do it, well, fine. After college is over and those loans start coming due, that thinking gets turned on it’s head. Had I the opportunity to do it again, I would have spent four years at a less expensive university instead of two, and wouldn’t have had those loans to pay.
College loans have a cost. You just don’t see it until later.
Relish the power of compound interest. Smaller children might not get this, but a little bit now goes a LONG way later. Money in that cute piggy bank that your child loves adds up in the hands of the proper account. Compound interest will (hopefully) pay my child’s college tuition. Teach them that early.
Credit cards, while ubiquitous, can be evil. The credit card companies really start the credit carousel in college. Credit cards are everywhere, and to do a lot of things, they are absolutely necessary. They represent power – and with great power comes great responsibility. Teach your children to recognize this, and realize that the iPod that they so desperately want but can’t afford without a credit card really is NOT AN IPOD THAT THEY CAN AFFORD.
I’m sure that I can think of more examples, but those little tidbits come to mind.