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What do YOUR kids know about the value of a buck? If you're like most families, finances aren't often discussed. Some parents feel that talking about money makes their kids feel like they're poor. Others may not know where or when to start to help their kids learn about budgeting or business or banking.

Here at Raising Money$mart Kids, you will find articles on everything from setting up an allowance to running a lemonade stand to helping kids make better purchase decisions. You can ask questions get help from the community.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

M is for Mentoring

I like to think that I have taught my two children what they need to know about finances and money. They both are able to handle their own money responsibly (most of the time) and I trust that they will be able to go out in the world some day and put everything they've learned into practice.

A few weeks ago, however, it once again hit me that not every child gets such an education. One of my daughter's friends came over for an afternoon. I overheard the girls talking about some new toy advertised on TV. My daughter was talking about how she might save up to buy it. The friend told her to just get me to put it on my credit card. She had totally lost the connection (or perhaps never had it) between money and credit.

Even if your children are well-schooled in money management, likely many of their friends are not. What better gift can you give them than financial knowledge? Take the time to mentor your child's friends. It doesn't have to be formal- and probably shouldn't be but make sure that they overhear you talking about budgets or spending. Have your child talk to the friend about his or her savings and how they grow regularly. Ask them about their own knowledge of how to budget and save. Kids are sponges and will pick up these informal lessons and absorb them.

With little effort, you have the ability to teach not only your own children but others how to be money smart.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. As they say, it takes a village...

My “N” post is right here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/nanowrimo.html
And you can find the “M” one here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/medical-marijuana.html

Kerry said...

Excellent post. I don't think it's ever too early to start talking about money smarts with your kids.

Derek Odom said...

Oh, man, when we were growing up we were RIGHT in the middle of the road, financially. We had neat stuff, but never the best stuff. While I never stewed on this point as a kid, there were definitely things I wanted that I couldn’t have. My parents worked very hard for their cash and let both of us kids know at an early age that things weren’t free. I honestly think it helped me greatly in later life because I turned into kind of a stingy bastard when it comes to money. I mean, I know how to have fun but I purchase things very carefully. Great blog post.

Tracey said...

Great advice!

Lisa Mason said...

This is fantastic advice. I still remember the first time I told my oldest daughter no on something she wanted in the store, "I don't have the money for that today. It's not in my budget." and she said "But can't you put it on your credit card?" to which I replied, "I don't have one." and she said, "That's ok, you can just get one!"

I agree that it's important to teach your children these things. I'm doing my best with my kids but your tips always help me.

Marie Anne said...

Ranks right up there with "but I don't have any money" being answered with "just go put your card in the machine and get some."

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Yep, you know if a child mentions putting it on the credit card how the parents pay for things. Scary I say.


Amanda Trought said...

Good advice, definitely takes a village to raise a child.

Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
Art Blog

Sylvia Ney said...

WOW - you have some great ideas for blogs. Glad I found you!

Angela Felsted said...

This is so true. We always talk about budgets when we go to store.

"Mom, can I have that?"

"I'm sorry, hun. But that one's too expensive. It's not in our budget."

nutschell said...

what a great post. start them off young and they'll grow up to be financial whizes.
Great meeting you through the A-Z!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Angie, here's to making it this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!

(A for effort says I!) Plus, your blog is awesome for parenting example!


Jenni said...

We LOVE the concept of mentoring your kids' friends. Most of us parents spend a good amount of time with our kid's friends anyway, and whether we realize it or not, we are already teaching them by our tone, body language, and example. How much more of blessing could we be if we stayed aware of it.

Thanks for your great post!

Veronica Lee said...

Great post!!

Hi! Stopping by from MBC.
Have a nice day!