The marketing machine is intent on enticing our children to purchase the trendiest fashions, the newest gadgets and the tastiest treats. How can you as a parent equip your children to survive financially?
Most family calendars are already jam-packed, so how do you find time to have discussions about money management? And, is it up to you as the parent to teach them about money?
If you take your role as a parent seriously, you’ve probably already sensed that raising money-smart kids is important. More than that, you probably know that somehow or other, you’ve got to find or make time to address this subject with them before they’re old enough to launch out on their own.
This can be easier – and more fun – than you think.
In this article I will highlight five powerful cultural trends that support the idea that you are vital to your child’s financial education:
- Most youths are financially illiterate. A recent report revealed that 28 percent of students did not know that credit cards are a form of borrowing, and 40 percent did not know that banks charge interest on loans.
- Advertisers and credit card companies are targeting children and teens. These professionals realize that today’s kids have more money and spending influence than at any time in recent memory.
- Most parents believe that someone else is teaching their kids about money and finances. Believe it or not, 80 percent of parents assume that schools are providing classes on money management and budgeting. This simply isn’t the case.
- Whether you like it or not, your kids are looking to you for financial guidance. Surprisingly, 63 percent of older teenagers – kids who are notorious for knowing it all and not listening to their parents – say that they get most of their information on money matters from mom and dad.
- Financial support for churches and ministries is dropping - and is likely to be even weaker in the future. The younger generations simply aren’t getting the message that giving matters. Pastors report that most of their donations come from church members over age sixty-five.
Add it all up, and you’ll have some idea of why it’s so crucial to start teaching your kids about finances at the earliest opportunity.
In the next couple of articles, I’ll highlight some biblical perspectives and principles, and then some practical applications – “hands-on” things to help you teach your children about “sound money management.”