Big money mistakes with kids
Avoid these common money mistakes with children to teach them life skills and help them become money savvy.
Teach kids life skills
We all want to be good parents. But when it comes to money matters, we may be falling short. The good news is that we can change our behavior and teach our kids the life skills and values they'll need to live in the real world.
Big mistake #1 is believing your kids must have what other kids have
Are you buying your kids too much stuff so they can keep up with the Joneses? That may be a buying trap you don't want to step into.
Big mistake #2 is shielding your kids from the cost of things
If money issues are never discussed above a whisper when the kids are around, your children will have a tough time grasping financial realities. You don't want their peers to teach them to become money savvy; you want to be their teacher.
Don't avoid talking about money. Make your world your classroom and get even the young ones involved in daily money matters. For instance, when you're at a restaurant, rather than hiding the check, show it to the kids. Let them figure out if the charges are correct and teach them to calculate the tip. Start to show your kids some of your expenses, such as the utility bills. Challenge them to come up with savings ideas, and split the money you save.
Big mistake #3 is using credit cards to buy stuff for your kids when you know you shouldn't
When you spend money you don't have, you send the message that you can buy things without worrying about how to pay for them. Is that really a message you want to send?
Big mistake #4 is spending money on your kids and hiding it from your partner
Most of us, for one reason or another, grew up being secretive about money. Unfortunately, this creates a real value disconnect.
Big mistake #5 is giving your kids money every time they ask
Do your kids constantly hit you up for $10 here and $10 there? If you or your partner gives in, this drip, drip, drip of money can happen without you even noticing.