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Three out of ten parents don’t talk to their children about money or have had just one major talk with their children on the subject, according to a U.S. survey conducted for the AICPA. Children tend to be over the age of ten by the time their parents first talk to them about money.

Above talking to children about finances, parents are more likely to talk to them about other important topics, such as:

  • The importance of good manners
  • The benefits of good eating habits
  • The importance of getting good grades
  • The dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • The risks of smoking

It is important to teach children the right lessons about financial responsibility and help them to be prepared for a sound financial future.

Some tips for how to get these ideas across to your children:

  • Start Early. Your children learn at a young age to want items, such as toys, clothes, or games, at this time, you should start teaching them about saving. Have them practice saving by putting away some of their birthday or allowance money to purchase the item they want, give them a goal to meet and once it has been met, let them buy the item. This will teach them the basics of delayed gratification and budgeting for a goal.
  • Speak in Their Terms. Your child may have no interest in learning about the compounding interest on their college savings account; they are more likely to care about money to spend with friends or to buy a toy. Take this opportunity to teach about savings by relating it to something they will care enough about now to listen.
  • Repeat Often. The more often you talk to your children about good financial decisions, the more likely it is to stick with them in their future. At meal times, talk about saving for big purchases, like vacations, and how it might affect budgets.
  • Walk the Talk. As they say, actions speak louder than words. By giving in easily to your children if they make a fuss over a toy at store, then you will have a hard time convincing them that delayed gratification and sticking to a budget is effective.

Teaching your children now about the benefits of saving and budgeting is just as important as teaching them to be polite. These are basic skills that your children will need to know to be a well-rounded adult. For more information on what other financial knowledge you should be passing on to your children, contact your accountant today.