(WFSB) – It’s the season to spend, and we know children learn by the examples set by adults.
So, how should parents make sure children grow up to be responsible with their money?
Channel 3 got advice from experts on the five money lessons to teach kids.
Alaya Linton says parents are the financial advisors for their kids.
“The best way to teach these is to model them, but also make them part of your everyday conversation,” Linton said.
On her blog, hopeandcents.com, she goes over the five principals to teach.
The first one is, money is earned.
“Kids see us use our debit cards and credit cards at the supermarket or go to the ATM and take money out, but they don’t know exactly or think about where the money is coming from, so we need to make sure kids make the connection between money and work,” Linton said.
The second principal is saving and investing.
“That’s important because most Americans don’t save money. The saving rate in our country is one of the lowest, so we need to make sure our kids know for every dollar you need to save a portion of it,” Linton said.
By putting money in the bank or investigating it early, that money will grow. The third lesson on the list is hard for many to learn as well, which is how to spend wisely.
“That’s where budgeting comes in. Budgeting doesn’t have to be a formal sit them down and write on a piece of paper. That lesson should come when they can grasp it,” Linton said.
The fourth lesson is the basics of borrowing.
“Kids need to know the basics of borrowing. So many of our kids, they go out in the real world and have no clue. They get that first credit car or take out a loan and don’t really understand that money needs to be repaid,” Linton explained.
Linton says she knows some parents who will loan their children money, but they have to pay it back with interest so they can learn the basics of borrowing.
The last lesson to teach children is giving.
“We just want to make sure that we raise a generous generation,” Linton said.
She says if kids have an allowance, make sure some of it goes to saving, some goes to spending, and some goes to charity.
“One thing parents should know, even if you’ve messed up with money, even if you’re not good with money right now, that’s ok. That does not disqualify you for teaching your kids about money,” Linton said.
Linton says kids can learn from their parent’s mistakes. The most important thing to do is talk to your children about money and start those valuable conversations early on.