If you want your kids to have financial freedom when they grow into adults, you need to teach them about money. The Federal Reserve released a report that puts the perspective of money into the spotlight for many Americans.
The study found that almost half, or over 150 million people, wouldn't be able to handle a $400 emergency expense.
These individuals would need to sell something or borrow money to cover a $400 expense. It's a major issue, and it has a lot to do with people's lifestyle choices. Living above their means, in many cases, is the main contributing factor to people not having savings.
Studies also show that:
- 30% of people have zero savings
- 62% of people have less than $1,000 in savings
- 21% of people have no savings account
Let these figures set in for a minute. People don't have the emergency funds they need if they lost their jobs or a major expense arose. So, what can you do to break this trend for your kids? Teach them how to obtain financial freedom.
1. Elementary School and Younger
If your child is in elementary school or is younger, it's a great time to teach them about savings. Dave Ramsey recommends using a savings jar or piggy bank because:
- Kids work well with visuals
- Seeing money grow helps build excitement
When you use credit cards, it also shows a bad example to kids that you can "always pay for that later." A tip that has helped a lot of parents teach their kids about money is to make the child pay for their own items.
This means grabbing the money from the piggy bank, handing it to the cashier and understanding that the piggy bank is a little less full.
2. Middle Schoolers
Kids who aren't quite teenagers and not in elementary school fit into this category. You'll want to teach these kids the value of money, and more importantly, you want to teach these kids the consequences of spending money.
Teach this age group that spending money on one item means that they will not be able to afford another item.
Teach middle schoolers that money needs to be earned. It's hard work to make money, so don't just give your child money for being a good kid. Chores are a great opportunity to give your kids money, and it teaches them that hard work has rewards.
3. Teenagers Learn Through Responsibility
Teenagers need to learn through responsibility. A summer job, or even a weekend job, is highly recommended. Teens have a lot of free time, so even a seasonal job is a perfect time to teach teens that they need to work hard to earn money.
You'll also want to teach your child about responsibility.
A bank account is a great idea, and it allows them to learn how to balance their checkbooks, pay for bills and manage their money responsibly.
It's also the perfect time to teach your child about debt. Teach your child that they need to pay for items with money that they have readily available. Also, show your child that credit cards lead to interest rates and payments that are far higher than saving for an item and paying for it later.