If money does indeed make the world go ‘round, as the song claims, why do so many families shy away from discussing it? As important as finances are in our day-to-day lives, “the topic of money is taboo for many families,” observes Mitchell Kraus, a Certified Financial Planner at Capital Intelligence Associates in Santa Monica, Calif. “We tend not to talk about it. And because of that, two, three, even four generations of a family end up making the same mistakes with their money.”
Giving kids the tools they need to be financially responsible starts with an open dialogue. It’s important to discuss money and finances with your children and as a family, beginning when kids are young, asserts Ashley Parks, a Certified Financial Planner™ with Martin Financial Group in Dallas, Texas. And by continuing that dialogue through elementary, middle and high school, and even on through college, the result likely will be a financially savvy person, one who’s qualified to pass financial wisdom on to their kids.
Here’s a quick primer — with age-appropriate suggestions — for how to instill kids with the money-related values and knowledge that will serve them well throughout life.