Parenting Vivian | 08 May 2011 06:52 am

Seven Myths About Kids and Money – Busted!

Although may parents believe that teaching kids about money isn’t necessary, the fact remains that today’s young adults are falling deeper and deeper into debt. There are many ways to teach your children about money, and be rest assured, young or old, they can learn. There are seven misconceptions parents have about kids and money – but by letting go of these myths, you can teach your children to be financially responsible adults.

Myth #1:
My child isn’t old enough to learn about money management.

Saying your child isn’t old enough to learn about money management is like saying your child isn’t old enough to learn to speak. From birth, we talk to our children. Sure, when they start learning to talk, just saying words is the goal. Later, as the child matures, words move to sentences, which moves to proper English and beyond. Money is that same. While your child is a toddler, he or she may not be able to learn about stock options. Give your kid some credit, though. Even the youngest children can begin to learn about how money works and what to do to be responsible with it.

Myth #2:
Money is not something our family finds important, so teaching kids about it shouldn’t be a priority.

There’s a difference between putting a huge emphasis on the important for money and admitting that money is needed in life. Without money, it is hard to survive. Even someone who lives in a tent in the wild growing his or her own food needs money for things like hunting supplies and medical expenses! Chances are that you don’t live a self-sustaining lifestyle in the wilderness, so you need money for housing, clothing, entertainment, education, travel, and more. Money is important, whether you like it or not. You don’t have to teach your kids to value materialistic things, but you do have to teach them how to use money to survive.

Myth #3:
My child’s school handles all of his/her education.

Schools can’t teach everything; there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. While state laws regulate subjects like math, science, and reading, most schools do not teach money management because there are too many other things to get through. So, it is up to the parents.

Even if, by chance, your school does have lessons on money, it is important that you take those lessons out of the classroom and into real life. For many children, money doesn’t mean anything until they see it being used and understand the value of thing. As a parent, it is important to be a financial role model and take measure to teach your children real world applications of money.

Myth #4:
My child is too busy to learn about money management.

There’s no denying that most children are even busier than their parents. With school, homework, sports, activities, and other things to do, it can seem impossible for you to add even more into your child’s daily schedule. That’s the great thing about money management, though. You don’t have to set aside time for it – if you’re smart, you can weave the lessons into their daily lives already. Money management skills are absolutely necessary for a child to succeed in life, so if you kids don’t have time, make time.

Myth #5:
I already give my child an allowance – that’s enough.

Allowances are a good way to start the money management process. Notice that I said start. Allowances aren’t the only thing you need in order to teach your children about money. After all, you know that in the adult world, you don’t just get a paycheck every week and then spend it on things you want. Your paycheck relates to the work you do, and you have to learn how to budget for necessities, save money, and invest. Allowances aren’t enough on their own to teach your children all the money management skills he or she will need to survive.

Myth #6:
My child is going to earn a huge salary after college, which will take care of all money problems.

College is not a guarantee, since many young adults decide to go to trade schools or directly into the workforce instead. That’s not to say that your child won’t earn a lot of money in his or her job. Starting salaries often demand tight budgets, but even if your child is lucky enough to find a well-paying job, that money will simply go to waste if he or she hasn’t learned to manage it. A young adult making $30,000 a year and understanding money management will come out on top of a young adult making $60,000 and not understanding money management at all.

Myth #7:
I’m bad with money, so I shouldn’t teach my child about it.

If you’re not good with money, now is the time to change that! You are responsible for your child, and that includes learning how to better yourself so that you can your children the lessons they need in life. If you don’t feel qualified to teach your children about money, consider taking a class or otherwise getting financial help today so that you can start to learn new skills and pass those skills onto your children. You don’t want them in the same position as you are now.

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