Which is more important: money or family? According to a survey recently conducted by the Bank of America Corp., it’s a close call. Bloomberg reports that when it comes to concerns about the future, teaching children financial literacy is only slightly less of a concern than maintaining family ties.
Parents Are Concerned About the Financial Future
In fact, having enough money for one’s progeny is a concern across the board. Many workers are pushing back their age of retirement and expressing increasing concern about the rising cost of a college education. The financial future is foremost in many minds, to the point where the most oft-cited reason for job loyalty is retirement benefits.
Financial Literacy Starts at Home
Yet for all of the anxiety about teaching children financial literacy in order to better manage their (dwindling) inheritances, what is being done? Economics probably won’t be squeezed in between reading and recess, and by the time kids hit high school, many of their ideas about and habits relating to money are already ingrained. It looks like parents who are concerned about their children’s skill with money need to do a little homeschooling.
Money-Smart Habits Are Key
Imparting financial literacy to your offspring need not be explicit instruction over the kitchen table. Instead, it should be a family mentality and an adaptation of games and habits that address concepts of personal finance such as saving and budgeting. Families that give children pocket money might adopt the three-jar system: one for spending, one for saving, and one for charity. No matter which tactics your family uses to teach the children about money, one thing is for sure: money is no secret. To expect children to be responsible and comfortable with their (and your!) money, it must be discussed.