Financial “Street Smarts” – teaching kids practical life skills

I presented at Woodside High School’s a few years ago – talking about my career in financial planning. The kids were terrific and the staff put on an event packed full of presentations by colleges, trade and art schools and career advice from community members.

One of the other presenters is a financial aid counselor at Stanford who has started teaching a personal finance class to graduating seniors at Stanford. The curriculum requires students to create a budget based on their research of actual living costs – tax deductions from salary, health insurance, dental bills, food, rent – and assumes a salary of $45,000. (more…)

Hey Kids, Here’s How Much Money We Have…

As parents, we want to shield our children from so many of the harsh realities of the adult world. Sometimes we try to “protect” our kids from other facts, too, even benign ones. Many parents resist or avoid telling their children what they earn or how much money they have saved for college.

Some parents feel uncomfortable revealing this information. Perhaps they fear they might be judged or questioned. Maybe they wish they had tucked away more. If teens have their sights set on an expensive college, their parents may be reluctant to explain that a school is financially out of reach. (more…)

Allowances: Tool or Tyranny?

In her blog “Good Thinking,” research psychologist Denise Cummins explains why the topic of allowances raises such a high level of concern and confusion for parents.

Allowances are powerful things. They are a child’s first exposure to the power of personal choice that financial means can bring.  It is for this very reason that parents approach it with a mixture of fear and trepidation. 

To some, it is the quintessential way to teach children financial literacy as well as character traits like patience, thrift and generosity.  To others, however, allowances are dangerous things that take away parental power and authority, and teach nothing more than greed. (more…)

Nurturing Financial Capability

Financial capability is defined as the capacity—based on knowledge, skills, and access—to manage financial resources effectively.

All parents, of course, hope their children will grow up to be financially responsible, savvy, and confident adults. However, because financial education has rarely been taught at home or in schools, most parents themselves feel ill-equipped to train and guide their children in matters of money. (more…)

Kids Need Money Mentors

With the level of consumer debt skyrocketing and the cost of housing, education, and health care increasing at double digit rates, younger generations are facing unprecedented challenges to achieving economic security and financial independence.  Therefore, helping our youth to learn effective money management skills, and to adopt good financial habits and attitudes, is more important than ever.

So what can you do if you are worried about the financial future of your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews?  The place to start is by considering the positive influence you can have in shaping their financial well-being.  Next, think about and choose specific ways that you can be a proactive Money Mentor in their lives.  Here are suggestions and resources to get you started: (more…)

Teaching Kids Money Survival Skills

teach-kids-money-skillsIn 1988, financial planner and author Venita Van Caspel wrote in her bestselling book Financial Dynamics for the 1990s:

“Our educational system continues to send forth our young with so little information about financial matters that they are like time bombs about to destroy their own and their families’ economic futures. We equip them to earn good incomes and to live the good life, but we fail miserably as a nation to prepare them to know what to do with the money they earn.” (more…)