3 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Money

A Quick Tip From Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®

In an ideal world, we would all grow up in households where we would learn about finances and money management.  In the real world, however, that rarely happens.

Whether or not you’ve set a good example concerning money matters with your children, it’s never too late to start having positive money conversations now.

Here are three ways you can effectively talk to your kids about money before they turn 18:

Step 1. Acknowledge your own financial mistakes.

You don’t need to be perfect in order to maintain your children’s respect or encourage them to follow your guidance. Sometimes, by confessing your shortcomings, setbacks or failures you can really engage with them. So be willing to share a time or two when you blew it financially. Share the lessons you learned. Chances are you can help them avoid the same pitfalls.

Step 2. Relate money to everyday things.

Financial conversations with young people shouldn’t just involve expensive things like paying for college or the cost of a new smart phone. Talk to your kids about everyday, weekly or monthly expenses, such as the cost of buying fast food or a pricey latte every day.

Step 3. Help them see what they already have.

Kids, especially teens, often feel “everyone” has something they don’t. But you can plant the seeds of gratitude by doing activities together such as volunteering at a hospital, or making sandwiches for the homeless, to show them how fortunate they truly are. Afterward, have a conversation about what you’ve experienced, or perhaps say nothing, and just let everything sink in.

Sometimes, silence is more powerful than words.


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Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or GreenPath Financial Wellness counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.

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