The wealthy are becoming wealthier while the poor are becoming poorer. This is very true. But then why, according to the UN, do many indicators point towards a growing global economy growing? Hate to break this to everyone, but the world is not teaching you how to manage money. In fact, if anything it is stacking everything to prevent you from managing money. Don’t believe me, how many people tell you to take out large car loans, to buy houses when you are not ready, that all that matters is living in the now and save all your worries for tomorrow? Tomorrow is never the present. Be honest with yourself, do you sound like that? Are those pieces of advice going to make anyone financially healthy? Probably not. Yet many people give this advice to their children. This post will talk about teaching your children to manage money.
But Talking About Money Is Taboo!
I have heard people say schools should teach more about money, sure, because telling schools to teach about sex went so well (extreme sarcasm notice). When I took the sex-ed class essentially all they told us about were diseases, sex organs, and protection. My parents addressed the beauty of sex, the emotions, connections, you know, what parents should tell their children about sex.
If you tell your kid: “hey [insert name here], you are probably noticing you are changing, you will notice people differently, you will hate your body from time to time, but it is how you grow” that is the most basic sex talk ever. You should tell them that you have gone through the same thing. You felt awkward, out of control. But in the end it will be fine as that is how you transition into an adult. I know I abridged the talk, but I know for a fact no one reading this is my child so no one reading this will get the unabridged version. That will be exclusive for my children (and a collection of readers and followers sigh with relief).
I know it sounds weird that I am bringing up sex in a blog about personal finance. However, a licensed psychologist said “many people are more willing to talk about their sex lives than talk about their money” so what I am going to tell you to teach your children will (apparently) be more awkward to talk about than sex. You should not feel awkward teaching your children how to manage money. One of the goals of being a parent is to help your children forge their wealth and the best way is to teach them about money.
Why Is It Taboo?
Why is it that teaching children how to manage money is taboo? I believe it is mostly because people are frightened of money themselves. How can you tell your children not to be afraid of something that you are afraid of? You don’t, instead tell them it is ok to be afraid of it. Am I wrong? Now I am not saying that you should tell them to be afraid of money. I am saying it is ok to be afraid of what it entails, but that you have control over it. To sum it up, you are not afraid of money nearly as much as you are afraid of yourself and your short comings. Relax, we all have our short comings, and your children will too, why not teach them how to handle them?
I am not a parent yet. However, I believe my parents have taught me very sufficiently about money. In fact, I will take what they have taught me, what I have learned from other mentors and write up a guide myself in my next post.
I know it sounds weird to conclude this post with a “to be continued,” but I am hoping I motivated some people to talk about money with their children. And let’s face it, you are already at least a little knowledgeable about money and how it works, you do use it at least some of the time. You can have a sit down with your children and have a talk about money, saving, budgeting, and credit. But hey, they are your children, don’t let me tell you how to teach your children. But, I would be honored if you were guided by my advice on what to teach your children.
In fact, do not just take my advice, but learn from many others. I have provided a link from Nerd Wallet for their new guide to help your children understand finances. I also recommend checking out The Money Class written by Suze Orman. This book will show you step by step how to teach your children about money, how to handle money around children, especially during tough times. All while educating the reader to manage money.
As if having a sit down with your children was not beneficial enough for your family, I find that talking about what you know and teaching others helps you learn too. Putting what you know out to the world helps you learn. For example, saying what you know helps you realize that there is much you do not know, and the people you teach to may even help fill in those holes. That is one of the reasons I started writing this blog. Use your knowledge to teach the future generation to help forge your wealth along with theirs.