Why is raising financially savvy kids important?

A young girl with mom on the couch.

Financial education can help kids and grandkids develop self-esteem, sound judgment, self-discipline and self-reliance.

Give the gift of financial literacy

We all want our loved ones to grow up knowing that they can be happy and self-sufficient while living a stress-free life. This doesn’t have to be a wish; we’re here to help this to become a reality.

I wanted my kids to develop self-esteem, sound judgment, self-discipline and the ability to take care of themselves. One of the biggest gifts you can give kids and grandchildren is the gift of teaching them to design and plan for their own future. Creating a well laid-out and then executable plan is the first, essential step toward financial wellness.

What kids don’t know can hurt them

There’s nothing that is used more than money. You have a constant day-to-day interaction with it that requires continual decision-making. As parents and grandparents, you know that what kids don’t know about money can hurt them. Bad financial habits in childhood can lead to worse problems as they grow up. The statistics are scary:

  • The median household credit card debt in America is more than $16,000.1
  • Every 13 seconds, there’s a divorce in America,2 and fighting over money ranks as one of the leading causes of divorce.3
  • 62% of Americans consider money issues to be a significant source of stress in their lives.4

​Teaching your kids to have a good grasp on financial realities is one of the best ways to prepare them for dealing with all the unexpected changes life will send their way.

Money affects relationships

For better or worse, money is often a key part of our relationships. The parent-child relationship frequently includes money exchanges for things like allowances and college tuition. It can also figure into friendships. This can be seen in interactions as simple as “Who pays for lunch?”, to the sometimes-bewildering borrowing and lending that goes on among school-age kids. Understanding what money can do is the first step in understanding what it can’t do—and the first step in teaching your children not to confuse self-worth with net worth.

Money is about values

Money is always a social issue; it never exists in isolation. The lessons of financial exchange can be applied to social exchange. Money affects values, relationships, choices and self-esteem. The same dollar that can buy worthless items can be given to charity. The whined-for candy bar, either given or withheld from the mysteriously bottomless well of parents’ or grandparents’ pockets, can be earned money, allotted for a bicycle or for college, and the spoiled (but ultimately helpless) child becomes an empowered partner in their own choices.

For better or worse, money is one of the connective tissues that holds society together. If we don’t teach our next generation these valuable lessons, we may be failing them. Empower your kids and grandkids by teaching them about earning, saving, spending and sharing.

1 Dickler, Jessica. “Credit Card Debt Hits a Record High. It's Time to Make a Payoff Plan.” CNBC, CNBC, 23 Jan. 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/01/23/credit-card-debt-hits-record-high.html.

2 “Everything You Need to Know About Divorce.” Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP, http://www.wf-lawyers.com/divorce-statistics-and-facts/.

3 “Survey: Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) Professionals Reveal the Leading Causes of Divorce.” Articles, Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, 2016, institutedfa.com/Leading-Causes-Divorce/.

4 American Psychological Association. “Stress in America: The State of Our Nation.” Stress in America™ Survey, 1 Nov. 2017, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2017/state-nation.pdf.