The Money Talk

by Lisa McCarthy

The Money TalkHave you had the money talk with your kids yet?

A recent study by ING bank, found that parents are better prepared to talk about sex, and drugs than money with their children. If you think the topic of money is something that can wait until your child is at least driving a car -- well think again.

Studies show that you need to start talking with your child about money, finances, spending and saving as soon as they start asking for things.

But the money talk isn't just about dollars and cents. Nor am I suggesting you sit down with the Wall Street Journal and talk about stock picks.

At a young age, it is the time to start teaching them the difference between a want and a need, the value of being independent and things do cost money. And, so the sooner you begin talking with them about financial things -- the better off they will be when its time to go into the real world.

Tips for Getting Started

Take Advantage of Everyday Teachable Moments

Those trips to the grocery store are a great way to start the money conversation. Self-control and the ability to understand the difference between a want and a need is the foundation of financial responsibility. "I really really want it mom, oh please, oh please OH PLEASE!" Is the perfect time to explain the difference between wanting something and needing something. It's the perfect time for a lesson in understanding that you don't always get what you want!

Help Them When They Need Help

Helping a child is doing something for them that they cannot do themselves. Enabling a child is doing something for them that they are able to do themselves. Even a two year old can help put the spoons on the table, or put the towels in the bathroom. Starting a child out young, and giving them increased responsibility builds confidence and self-reliance. Remember the end goal -- responsible adults that can take of themselves!

Share Family Finances -- With a Five Year Old?

Well, yes to a degree. Think about it, running a household and managing finances is part of day-to-day living. When my daughter was in preschool we explained that we have to pay money for the lights to go on -- and, every time she turned them turn them off we saved money! We explained it was like putting a penny in your piggy bank every time she turned the lights off! When she remembered we put a penny in her bank! Gradually, as she got older we talked about household budgets and how we can work together to save money. Our end goal, is when she goes out on her own she will not be shocked by the costs of maintaining her first apartment.

Lisa McCarthyLisa Laughton McCarthy is a mom with a passion! As the founder of MoneySmartKidz and author of "The Money Tree," Lisa, takes delight in finding fun creative ways to help show young children the value of financial independence! Her first book "The Money Tree," with its eye catching illustrations, is the answer to every parent who wants to give their child a head start on the road to financial independence.

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