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How Can You Teach Your Kids About Money? — Dollars and Sense

goodncrazy, Flickr

According to a new poll, many parents don’t talk to their children about financial matters the way they should — and as a result, kids aren’t getting the crucial lessons about money they’ll need later in life.

Mutual fund company T. Rowe Price conducted a survey that found while kids between 8 and 14 gave their parents a grade of B+ as financial role models, only half of moms and dads regularly save money, and even fewer than that set actual financial goals. In addition, three-quarters of parents say they aren’t always honest about money.

But you don’t have to be a Wall Street wizard to teach your kids the basics that will serve them well in the coming years. T. Rowe Price senior financial planner Stuart Ritter, who specializes in money lessons for youngsters, has some helpful insights for parents:

  • Teachable moments abound. Even something as simple as a grocery store excursions or a trip to the ATM can give you the chance to talk about financial lessons.
  • Be a role model. Avoid impulse spending, and tell your kids why you’re doing it.
  • Be a saver. If your children want something, help them set savings goals in order to buy it.
  • Don’t shy away from the subject. Be honest about what you’ve done wrong in your own financial life, and how your children can avoid the same mistakes. And above all, keep the lines of communication open.


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