Setting a Financial Example for Your Children
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It is best said by Deborah Norvillle "I think our job as parents is to give our kids roots to grow and wings to fly."
Children pick up all sorts of habits from their parents. It is foolish to think they will not inherit their parent's spending habits too or at least learn from their mistakes. Educating your children about money at an early age is healthy and makes them appreciate the hard work that goes into it. By being a positive role model in handling your finances, you can establish a healthy behavior for them to mimic.
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This demonstration in behavior can be reinforced with the use of allowance. By setting guidelines and expectations with your child, he or she earns what they put into it. One of my favorite blogs to read is HouseofRoseBlog.com after being a big fan of Jeff Rose's Good Financial Cents. With us both being Vets, I can easily connect with his message. While his GFC site is tailored towards money management and other financial matters, his wife is the lead blogger for the House of Rose. This site is a great reminder for couples that struggles happen within a marriage. Their tips are encouraging which leads me to the sharing finances with your spouse.
I have written several blogs on this topic alone because as a man, I struggled to make time to discuss household finances with my wife. With the mindset of I am the finance guy, I got this...it created problems in the marriage that were unhealthy.
Households typically have either the husband or wife handling the finances. Whoever handles the finances, ensure you are sitting down once a month to discuss the monthly budget. This process doesn't have to take long. If you are new to budget or looking to make budgeting a more straightforward process, then check out Personal Capital's Free Financial Software. It will help keep your finances in order.
I call this process the Kitchen Table (KT). Read more in the link to learn more about discussing money with your spouse.
Once a month, you and your spouse sit down to have a KT meeting. Plan ahead after kids are asleep or being entertained and set aside 15-20 minutes.
There are several items to discuss and here are the points to highlight during your KT:
Review the most recent bank statement(s)
Perform an overview of credit card statements, purchases, & balances
Make note of upcoming expenses that may not be on the budget sheet (holiday gifts, insurance renewals, auto tag renewals)
Set a savings goal for the upcoming month
Strategize how to reach the goal for retirement and savings
Find ways to reduce expenses
Plan a future evening out and/or trip together (Guys, this will win you kudos-haha)
I recommend praying as well if you're religious