Up to 40 percent of Americans report living beyond their means, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt with credit cards and loans. Savings rates are low, and more and more young adults are declaring bankruptcy. Almost half of all college students are in credit card debt. These statistics are alarming, and it’s up to parents to start teaching their children healthy financial habits well before college. If you want to learn how to help your kids manage their money, keep reading.
Children Develop Habits From Parents
When kids learn about money at an early age, they develop lifelong spending and saving habits. These core values and attitudes regarding money provide a foundation for future financial success. Parents are largely responsible for educating their kids about money, whether they realize it or not. Even without direct instruction, kids pick up on their parents’ attitudes toward money.
Does Mom splurge at the mall and hide her purchases from Dad? Do Mom and Dad argue a lot about who’s spending what? Do conversations often focus on not having enough money? When kids see these behaviors and hear these conversations, they start to develop money attitudes of their own. Fortunately, there is some great new technology parents can use to teach healthy financial habits.
Kidworth is a free website that makes it easy for parents to help their children develop good financial habits. It’s easy for parents to set up an account for their children so that they can begin saving for any number of different goals, like a specific purchase, a college education, or a charitable donation, or just for the sake of it. Kidworth teaches kids to allot specific amounts of their money to different investments. Over time, it lets children see how their money is growing.
Kids can also share their goals and successes with friends and family. Share a link to your child’s page or send invites to guests through Kidworth. Guests can check out and support your child’s financial goals. Grandparents, aunts and uncles can encourage your children as they get closer to their goals, and can even donate to the savings cause by purchasing a gift card and adding it to your child’s funds.
If your child has a birthday coming up, guests can donate to a savings cause directly through Kidworth. The site in turn keeps track of these donations and allows your children to send “thank you” notes directly through their interface.
However you decide to teach your kids about money, remember to start early. Teaching kids how to manage their funds at a young age will give them the healthy habits they need to grow into financially responsible adults.
Are you worried about your children’s financial habits? How are you teaching them to manage money, live on a budget, and avoid the pitfalls of debt? Share your advice in our comments section below!
Jessica Bosari is a PerkStreet Customer Columnist, as well as the Site Manager and Editor for billeater a blog with money-saving tips to lower your bills. When she’s not gathering money-saving tips, Jessica is feeding her geeky side with sci-fi movies, tech gadgets, useful apps and productivity tricks, just to keep things interesting. Read more of Jessica’s great financial advice on Perkstreet’s blog, or view her other money-saving tips at billeater.com.