Children’s Financial Education Can’t Wait

Children's Financial Education Can't Wait

Piggy Bank (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)Children’s Financial Education can’t wait. should begin in pre-school years when they first become aware of counting and abstract thinking.  Money’s value is an abstract concept that children seem to understand at a surprisingly early age.  Nourish the concept of money as something with it’s own value during the pre-school years by taking them with you when you grocery shop.  Talk prices. Share that nice little victory when you find a nice bargain…especially if it’s something they like. Teach them the difference between needs, wants and wishes.  Play time and frugality actually go well together when you partner them in on basic ordinary bargain hunting.

Children’s Financial Education Can’t Wait

Children’s financial education can’t wait.  Start in pre-school years when they first become aware of counting and abstract thinking.  Money’s value is an abstract concept that children seem to understand at a surprisingly early age.  Nourish the concept  of money as something with its own value during these pre-school years by taking them with you when you grocery shop.  Share that nice little victory when you find a good bargain on something you need…especially if it’s something they like.  Teach them the difference between needs, wants and wishes.

Play time and frugality go well together when you partner children in on ordinary basic bargain hunting.Get them a piggy bank early.  Put in a nice shiny new half dollar to start it. Let them anticipate how much fun it will  be to finally open it.  Spend some of their savings on a treat and leave some so they can have more fun the next time they open it when there will be even more in there.

Developmental Milestones

Grade School:  Depending on the rate at which your child matures these years are ripe for introducing the concept of earning money.  Set an allowance, but only as a reward for chores that you want them to handle.  Continue to partner them in on bargain hunting. Play Monopoly (you love it too…admit it). Point out how it will add up if they save half of the allowance they earn.

Middle School:  Emphasize the importance of choices.  They are going to want the latest and coolest of everything out there.  Insist that they need to subtract to add.”If you skip this you can have that.”  They should be educated that it is a numbers game in which wishful thinking plays no part and can only lead to difficulty.

High School:  Summer jobs may be difficult to find but it is worth an all out effort.  Leave time for sports and hang out time with friends too but putting some summer earnings in a savings account to help towards college costs is immensely beneficial.  By now they know that you don’t have an infinite supply of money for college and any contribution no matter how small is welcome.

When they finally get to college you can complete your children’s financial education by putting their expense money on a secured credit card which will help them begin a track record with the credit reporting bureaus.  Another even better strategy is to make them an authorized user on one of your cards where you can closely monitor the bill since it comes to you. I said this strategy is better because they will get the benefit of the age of your credit history this way which will help their FICO score for the foreseeable future.You should continually stress the importance of keeping credit usage to a low percentage of the amount that is actually authorized.  As an authorized user they will also be starting a track record for future real credit on their own.

The CARD ACT forbids the issuance of a credit card to a person under 21 unless they have a qualified co-signer or can prove sufficient income.  BankAmericardforStudents is a great choice with a 0%APR for 15 months and no annual fee.  A student could buy a computer and books, pay $50.00 to $100.00 a month and pay it off with no cost for buying on credit!  The rate after that will range from 10.00-19.99% depending on the individual credit rating.

Empty Nest Syndrome

Some other frugality pointers for the college bound:

  • Avoid expensive coffee purchase and energy drinks.  Buy large cans of store brand coffee and invest in a thermos.
  • Don’t buy magazines.  Read them online and in your bookstore.
  • New fashionable clothing is a luxury that can wait until you’re working.  Saves on dry cleaning too.
  • Movies at the multiplex are expensive; so are the snacks.  Watch free dvds from the library and streaming video.  Study more!
  • As for expensive grooming products: At your age you don’t need them.
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After practicing law for 37 years Edward F. St. Onge, Sr. now devotes all his time to helping consumers achieve a high credit score with amazing speed. Learn the counter-intuitive secrets to credit scoring through his down to earth instructions backed by extensive knowledge of the laws and trends. All of the latest tricks and techniques that they don't want you to know now at your disposal. At last a level playing field for the consumer!

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