Financial Education; What we Owe Our ChildrenBased on the title of this post you would assume that I am a well-intentioned Mom trying to pass along all of the smart financial tips I am learning while enrolled in my CareOne Debt Relief Services Debt Management Plan

Nope.  Don't have kids.  Not sure when/if we will. 

So I know what you're thinking, "who is she to tell us how to raise our kids?"  Well, I may not have children of my own but I was a kid once and I have nieces and nephews that I have watched grow up throughout the years. 

I am no expert, but my experiences with debt have left quite the impression on me so I have a pretty strong opinion on doing what we can to better prepare our children for the responsibility of managing personal finances. 

What do you remember about your statistics class in High School?  I remember that the kid that sat behind me knew all the answers so that is who we cheated off of for tests. 

What about your senior year in High School, anything stick out about your History class that year? 

I remember taking a "Life" class my Senior Year and we had to pretend we got married, carry around an egg like it was our kid and then discuss what we learned about "real life" from that.  Huh? 

You know what I think I WOULD have remembered......

  • Someone talking to me about APR's on credit cards.
  • Someone (besides my parents who of course knew nothing at that time) telling me what it meant to own a credit card and the pros and cons of using them.
  • Having a credit score explained and why it would be so important in my future.
  • And I sure would have remembered if someone told me how much a pair of shoes really cost if you put it on a credit card and didn't pay it off the same month!

To me, the right time to teach our kids about money and saving is as early as they can learn it. 

In the area that I live, there are 3,000 homeless children in our school district.  Imagine what we could do to change the future for those kids by arming them with a solid foundation of good financial skills and education?  Basic skills like budgeting, saving and even investing are all very important skills that many children may not have the opportunity to learn at home?  These basic financial skills would benefit all children even those in homes where families are "well off" financially, there are so many lessons to be learned that seem to be overlooked. 

Times are changing and I feel expectations are going to need to drastically change as well.

As the adults, we have an obligation to help the children prepare for their future.  We need to give them the benefit of our experience and that means teaching them to avoid the pitfalls of poor financial choices.  Kids can't expect things now, they have to understand and appreciate what they have. 

I think my parents did a good job in trying to guide me financially, but attitudes in using credit and the accessibility of credit changed drastically from their generation to my own. They were not prepared to prepare me for the assault of easy credit that I would face.

That is why I feel very strongly that basic financial education belongs in our schools and in our homes!  Sometimes that outside source of education  can be more impactful. 

Here are some good tips on the things we can do now to lay the foundation for good financial habits.

I can only hope that when I do have kids that I can find a good way to start them down the right path when it comes to financial goals.  I even found a website dedicated to helping me along the way: http://www.teaching-kids-about-money.com/.

With the many challenges our children face today, hopefully we can provide one less hurdle for our kids to jump, by sharing our life lessons.

Related Posts:

Educating Your Children about Money; Part 1 The Timeline

Educating Your Children about Money, Part Two

Teaching Kids Positive Money Management

Katie Simmons LupoKatie (Simmons) Lupo

Katie is currently enrolled in the CareOne Debt Relief Services Debt Management Plan (DMP). You can read more about Katie's experience in the My Journey out of Debt blog. In her blog, Katie explores life without credit cards, living on a 'real' budget and making that adjustment from spender to saver. A newlywed, Katie candidly addresses how debt has influenced her choices in love and life. Look for older posts by Katie under the Single and Settling In blog. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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