Guest Post: “The Earlier the Better” by Kate Willson

Here’s another great guest post for you by Kate Willson, thanks Kate for sharing your thoughts with us.

Cheers…Amanda van der Gulik…Excited Life Enthusiast! ;o)

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Teaching Your Child about Money: The Earlier the Better

Teaching children about money is not the first thing parents think about when they consider the values they want to instill in their progeny. Things like honesty, personal hygiene, and building trust are often at the top of the list, while managing money, many parents assume, is something that kids just learn on their own.

After all, chances are your parents didn’t specifically sit you down to show you the ins and outs of personal finance. Even if that’s the case, you may have struggled early in your career when you first became independent from your parents. I know I certainly did. If you aren’t convinced yet that teaching your children responsible money management as early as possible is not a priority, here are a few things to think about.

1. They don’t teach personal finance in school.

School is the only other source of information and education for children. And no school teaches sound personal money management, even economics courses. As such, you are the only person that can serve as reliable source of personal finance information. If you don’t teach your child about money, she’ll have to learn on her own. While learning from one’s mistakes can be a valuable learning method, making mistakes with money can have lasting consequences.

2. The older you get the harder it is to pick up good habits and undo bad ones.

Studies have shown that the older a person gets, the harder it is to learn. Children have a nearly infinite ability to absorb new information. In terms of healthy money management, if you teach your child about money early on, chances are that these lessons will stick better than if you wait until they’re teenagers or older.

3. Money problems have been shown to trigger depression.

According to a BBC news article, money problems have been reported by 88% of depressed patients as a primary trigger. If your child is unable to handle money responsibly as an adult, she will be much more prone to depression, which can have a devastating effect on her career and general health.

Teaching sound money management is no easy task, but it’s as important as any other lesson you will teach your child. The best way to go about teaching such lessons is talk early and often about credit, debt, and banking. Balance your checkbook with your child, no matter how young she is. Give your child an allowance to manage on her own instead of giving money whenever asked. Above all, remember that financial literacy is a critical life skill that isn’t an inherent ability. It must be taught, and as a parent, your child can have no better teacher than you. For more tips on teaching your child about money, check out this Wall Street Journal article.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of best online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katewillson2@gmail.com.

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