Many of us feel out of our depth when it comes to teaching our kids about money. Maybe they get an allowance and are saving towards the purchase of a new bike, so in a way they are learning money management skills. But isn’t there more we should be doing?
As small business owners, we’re in a great spot to teach our children about money management. Most successful entrepreneurs started their businesses from the bottom up. And this bootstrap mentality is something worth passing on. We can give our kids the gift of our experience; if it’s presented the right way, it’s priceless.
Beth Kobliner, author of the bestseller Get a Financial Life, notes that “parents are the number-one influence on their children’s financial behaviors, so it’s up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, investors, savers, and givers.”
Kobliner recommends parents consider spontaneous “money moments” as opportunities for age-appropriate money lessons. In a recent Forbes article, she suggested sample lessons and activities for kids from ages 3 to 18 plus.
Involve your 6- to 10-year-olds, for example, in grocery shopping. Discuss the merits of selecting one brand over another or bulk-buying, to save money. Give them a small amount of cash to buy a fruit or vegetable; they’ll see their cash is limited and that they’ll have to choose between options.
Most importantly, say experts, be a good role model. In managing money as well as in other important life lessons, you’re the one they’ll emulate.