Okay, so it’s not “THE talk,” but it’s an uncomfortable and somewhat taboo conversation nonetheless. Wait, so what am I’m talking about? It’s called, “The money talk,” and I guess it’s not really just one talk, but really the start of a lifelong dialogue.
Since I can remember, talking about money was always mildly uncomfortable. Even now, it’s the opposite of everyday, light conversation. Why is that? Well, sorry Mom and Dad, but we didn’t really talk about money until I was a teenager. That’s not to say my parents didn’t teach me about saving up towards something or that they didn’t try and instill some sort of understanding in regards to working for your money or the value of a dollar. It’s not that. It was more so being aware of an uncomfortableness when they discussed money and not really knowing why. There was no discussion about their financial state or how they handled their finances and I think it’s because, well, they didn’t think it was appropriate for me to know about it. Why did they think think it was inappropriate? Their parents thought it was inappropriate.
Does talking to your kids about money and about your finances really affect anything? An article written by Forbes contributor, Kate Ashford pulls some interesting facts from T. Rowe Price and the 2014 Parents, Kids & Money Survey. Ashford explains that according to the survey, “Two-thirds of kids whose parents frequently talk about family finances feel smart about money versus 37 percent of kids whose parents don’t.” In addition to kids feeling money smart, Ashford bullets these points as well:
58% of kids whose parents frequently talk to them about saving for college save for their own college versus 23% of kids whose parents don’t.
60% of kids whose parents frequently talk about setting financial goals say they are “savers” versus 46% of kids whose parents don’t.
60% of kids whose parents frequently discuss budgeting say they are very or extremely smart about money, versus 34% of kids whose parents don’t.
That last stat really sticks with me. My father is an excellent saver. He is diligent, disciplined, and regimented with his finances. But I know the extent only now, and wish I would have inherited his less emotional approach to money (I love you mom, and we’re the same).
Parents, you have a lot on your plate and really, I don’t understand how you do most things in the span of one day, BUT you do. Teaching your kids about money is just one more thing on the list. There are a myriad of online resources suggesting when and how to start the process. Parents.com offers an age by age guide. The Wall Street Journal suggests we’re doing it all wrong and gives a different approach on HOW, while Warren Buffet and CNBC talk about his early financial education and available curriculum, “Secret Millionaries Club.” This, much like anything else you research on the internet, is kind of a crapshoot. You have to do a lot of sifting, considering, and a lot of really just figuring out what works best for you and your family. But just talking to your kids about money, about your money, is a great place to start.
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