In 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.”
Now, nearly two decades later, the implications of Van Caspel’s sobering commentary on modern society is growing more serious every day. 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 financial security. Therefore, helping our youth to learn effective money management skills and 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 and grandchildren? First of all, examine your money beliefs and behaviors and then take action to get your own financial life in order. Nothing is more effective in guiding the younger generation than providing a powerful role model.
Next, stay alert for teachable moments to share your financial expertise and wisdom. Very few topics affect us on a day-to-day basis like money, so there are endless opportunities to provide mini financial lessons via word and example.
In addition, seek out resources to guide you in your mission. One good source is www.choosetosave.org where you can find a number of great suggestions for teaching money concepts and skills to kids in specific age brackets. Also, check out two books on this topic: Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children by Jon Gallo and Make Your Kid a Millionaire by Kevin McKinley.
Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP
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