2/28/2011

More is 'Caught' Than 'Taught'

Virginia Saves equips Savers with the resources needed to pay off past debts, pay for current needs and wants, and invest for the future. As adults, we actually have to reprogram how we deal with stress and create a new plan. The spending plan is a powerful tool to help reach goals!!
Part of this vision is to supply ideas to parents. The next generation is watching and learning how to handle money. More is ‘caught’ than ‘taught’. If children develop healthy spending and saving habits as young people, they can avoid some of the money troubles their parents have experienced.  Take advantage of teachable moments that will instill good money habits with our children.
How can children learn the value of money?
·    Be realistic. Tell children that they cannot have everything they want. Wants will always outnumber available dollars!
·    Give commission. ‘If you do not work, you do not get paid!’ Teach children the value of work and that work produces money.
·    Have a family spending plan. Living on a budget needs to be modeled to children. This may involve telling the adults in the family that wants will not fit into this month’s spending plan.
·    Require calm money discussions. Talk with respect and without emotional outbursts or manipulation when talking about money in the home.
·    Set family financial goals. ‘When debt free, we will save to go to Disney!’ Get everyone on board to think of strategies to reach the goal.
·    Have fun while cutting back. Have a camp- out in the back yard and make S’mores. This spring break, have a ‘stay-cation’ and visit the sights close to home. Do not forget to pack a picnic lunch!!
Her are a few great resources for parents with young children:
Kids Count- many links to great parent resources

Children and Family- articles from Crown Financial Ministries to help train children (and parents) Children and Finances Part 1
Children and Finances Part 2

Handipoints- training good behavior in children through fun activities

Money Lessons for Children- Great resources for parents and teachers for financial skills

Thrive by 5- great activities and lessons you can use in your home to train pre-schoolers in financial basics

Money Mammals- website to help encourage both savings and giving for children. 

Parents are a child’s first teacher. They will learn more about how to handle money from you than from a high-school Personal Finance Class. Talk to children about smart money choices and help them develop good money habits!

Enroll at www.virginiasaves.org/enroll to receive a monthly newsletter full of saving ideas.

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