In a world of financial technology, credit cards, online banking, tax codes, investments and retirement plans, keeping up with money can be tough for adults, and even more so for kids.

So, for the many parents who want to teach their kid economic ideas and prepare them for their financial futures, where the heck is the starting point?

Some financial experts give their advice:

Make sure money isn’t “invisible” to your kids.

Chris Whitlow, CEO of financial wellness benefits provider Edukate, described money as “an emotional issue.”

“It’s like if you were to read academically about football and then go out and try to play football,” Whitlow told. “The act of reading about and playing it are two different things.”

That’s why it’s important for families to speak openly about finances when possible ― like their budget, for example ― to encourage questions from their kids and to set them up to be better prepared in their financial future. This means taking a minute after swiping your debit or credit card to explain that the little thing in your wallet is not the source of limitless money.

Whitlow also noted that money conversations with kids are opportune times to discuss the difference between “what you need to have to function in life and what you want to have in life.”

Consider letting your children have some money to work with.

One way to teach kids about money is to simply let them have it, and cash is a great start.

“Cash is a tangible object,” said Gwen Tulin, founder and artistic director of Brain Arts Productions, a group that runs birthday parties, camps and other events that incorporate financial literacy with the arts. “You see it’s there and then it’s not.”

She suggested that caretakers take a few minutes to grab cash from an ATM and pick one store in which they’ll regularly use that money in front of their kids.

“It helps make the idea crystallize in somebody’s mind,” Tulin said. “Then, you can move on to more abstract concepts, but cash is a foundation.”

Don’t forget to explain that money can be a powerful tool to help others.

When talking about money with your kids, you don’t want to leave out the fact that some people are more privileged than others. Breaking down three different ways in which kids categorize their goals: saving for the future, saving for things and experiences, and sharing with others. The last designation encourages kids to pay it forward with money they’ve earned.

As Whitlow pointed out, there’s no perfect way to teach kids about financial topics. What you’re aiming for is to “create a certain sense of vigilance about money” so kids will be prepared for their future.


Source: huffpost.com

Photo: freepik.com

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