As a parent, you’ve got a big job. Not only are you juggling career responsibilities, but you’re also getting your child ready to be a responsible adult. That can seem daunting so picking and choosing topics to focus on to teach your kids can be hard. For some growing up, talking about money and finances was a ‘no-no’ but it shouldn’t be. Here are four misconceptions you need to overcome to successfully talk about money with your kids:
It’s rude to talk about money.
You’ve probably heard this all your life. You might have even said it yourself to your kids, but openly discussing money can be one of the best lessons you can pass down. For some, talking about their finances can lead to embarrassment and fear. Just remember when you’re talking to your child about the family’s finances, your kids likely don’t feel the same way you do about it.
I have no idea what I’m doing, how can I teach them?
It’s likely you know more than you give yourself credit for. Most of us have never had any formal financial education, so when you’re discussing money with your kids, focus on your experience. Focus on the lessons you’ve learned along the way, like starting early when it comes to saving. Using yourself as the example will give context to what you’re teaching.
I don’t want my kids to know we’re struggling.
All parents want to protect their kids from some harsh truths about this world. Your financial picture doesn’t haven’t to be one of those. Open conversations are critical. Reassure your child that their needs are being met. The most your kid wants to know is that everything is okay, they don’t need all of the details.
It’s too late to get started.
Just like it’s never too late to start saving, it’s never too late to start talking about money with your kids. You’ll want to keep these conversations age appropriate, so if you have a teenager, you may want to focus on saving for a new phone or car. If you have a young child, you should discuss the importance of having your money safe in a bank and why saving money is so important.
Financial experts agree, it’s never too early or too late to start having conversations about money with your kids. The keys to a good conversation are to be open, speak in terms they understand, and to not be afraid to answer tough questions.