The kids have reached that amazing age where they are ready to go off to college. For a parent, this is what the past eighteen years have been about, so it’s okay to celebrate. But, before you pop open the champagne, it’s important to gauge your child’s money knowledge. Sure, they may be academically inclined but are they financially savvy? The ones who aren’t are going to experience a major culture shock in the next couple of years and make mistakes that last a lifetime. To paraphrase Biggie Smalls, no money, mo’ problems.
Here’s how to teach your kids about the value of money before they head off to university.
Get A Job
The times when kids had to get a job to survive are long gone. It’s easy to see why parents don’t mind this change. Who wants their kids to work 20 hours a week when they have to study? Plus, kids should have time to, well, be children. Sadly, by looking after them financially, they will never understand the value of hard work. When they go to college without the bank of mommy and daddy, their bank balance will suffer. Encouraging them to mow lawns, babysit or deliver pizzas is an excellent way to inspire a positive work ethic.
Those Who Can, Teach
Your job title says parent, but are a teacher too. Thankfully, you have an accredited degree from the University of Life to help you in your dual role. Every parent understands the finance world or at least knows more than their kids. The key is the experience – you have been there, done it, and purchased the t-shirt. So, pointing them in the direction of a loan service like home.loan is a no-brainer. The same goes for teaching them about the value and dangers of a credit card. Oh, and learning how to deal with a bank never goes amiss.
And Those Who Lead, Read
Of course, there will be gaps in your knowledge. After all, you won’t have experienced every situation known to humankind. But, there are ways to plug the holes, and the best one is to read. Thanks to an online ft.com subscription, it is possible to learn about the stock market as well as stocks and shares. Or, you can keep up with the latest financial news and cherry-pick the best bits. The relevant thing to remember is that the more you know, the more you can pass on to your children. Plus, they can use the Financial Times as light reading material, too.
Take Away The Safety Net
The final tip is the hardest yet most important. The best thing a parent can do for the child is to let them make mistakes. Yes, there are some they can’t afford to make, but the majority act as a learning curve. Many teenagers make errors when they become financially independent, and it makes them better people. Let’s face it – no one gets burned twice. Sometimes, as a mom or dad, you have to sit back and watch them fail to help them succeed.
It turns out hip-hop music has a role to play in your child’s life after all.