September is the month many of us associate with “back to school.” September of 2021 is a singular back to school moment for many students who experienced an interruption to their in-person education due to the pandemic. Perhaps that makes this school year extra special and a good time to re-evaluate your child’s financial education. After all, you are preparing your children for a self-sufficient future, not to boomerang back to the care of mom and dad!
Our Entrust advisors are frequently asked by parents and grandparents, “How should I teach my children about money?” Not surprisingly, there is no short answer to this question and the child’s age has an influence on effective strategies. However, following are three tips to consider as you reflect on your approach:
- Consider the money messages that surrounded you when you grew up.
How have they affected your financial decisions as an adult? Why #1? Just as your parents’ financial context influenced your choices—so will your current family money messages affect your children. In other words, learning about money is rarely an academic experience; rather, it is an experiential education based upon the behaviors of those around you.
- Regardless of the child’s age, “Save, Spend and Share” may be an effective money management mantra.
How to implement #2? For starters, saving can be as basic as “filling up the piggy bank” for young children and then advance to the dipping of toes into investing concepts for middle and high school aged children. When high schoolers begin to earn money, for example, a Custodial Roth IRA might be established for the child; this can lead to all types of money lessons: Saving, investing, compound returns, and tax consequences, to name a few.
- Planning is the lynchpin.
Homework is required for #3. A plan needs to be written down (old-fashioned paper and pencil works fine) and revisited on a routine basis—perhaps monthly or quarterly a financial conversation might be scheduled. With your children, this financial conversation might coincide with pizza night or some other favorite food dinner, to emphasize the positive nature of planning for money.
If you are interested in engaging further on this important topic, consider registering for our upcoming educational session that we are hosting in collaboration with NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) at noon on Tuesday, September 28th: Beware the Boomerang: LE$$ONS for Your Teen.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time with questions or considerations that may be on your mind. We are available by phone 610.687.3515 or email@example.com