Published On: Wed, Jan 29th, 2014

How to Undo The Bad Money Habits We are Teaching Our Kids

Is she talking about my kids and me now?  Actually, I am talking about you, your kids and your money.

Kids are like sponges, therefore if you are not intentionally teaching them good money habits, trust me you are unintentionally teaching them bad money habits.   Do your kids have a clue what it takes to run your household (especially with them leaving lights and TV’s on all night)?  Do they know the true cost of the smart phones, high priced headphones or new the Jordan’s they absolutely must have, in comparison with your income?

Now more than ever is the time to start teaching your children smart money habits.  You may learn something new yourself.  And don’t hold back thinking little Johnny doesn’t need to know all this stuff.  If you don’t show little Johnny, American Express, Visa and Sallie Mae will.  Many of us are Piggy-bank-photostill learning life’s financial lessons sponsored by Visa or an un-usable degree from the Art Institute.  Please start now!  Here are a suggestions to get you started (from the woman with no kids, smile).

  1. Let your kids help with the bills.  Allow them to help open then up (this could be new for you also) and see the actual numbers.  Also, teach them how to write out checks and deduct from the balance.
  2. Give them your food budget when you go to the grocery store and let them see if they can stay within the budget.  This allows them to see how things add up.  It can also help cure them of asking you to buy everything in sight.
  3. Let them earn money for actually working (and not just for being born).  Allow them to pay for some of their own expenses. You will notice how fast they start to monitor their own money.
  4. If it’s something they want, give them a budget and have them comparison shop.  They will get an opportunity to see how they can save money.
  5. When it is time to think of college, have them truly research the degree they are pursuing.  Have them compare the potential salary with the cost of the degree.  The days are gone when a degree automatically guarantees an income or career.  If you do not make wisely informed and cost effective choices, you will just create more debt.

It may seem silly at first and you may get some complaining, but kids with good money habits or bad money habits the choice is yours.

Rhonda Williams

Rhonda Williams

Financial Management Counselor at Operation HOPE
Ms. Williams has been teaching and encouraging clients, peers and her family in the area of personal finance for more than 10 years.Ms. Williams is known affectionately as the “All Cash Queen” among her peers and family.As a certified financial counselor, Rhonda brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to her audience.
Rhonda Williams

About the Author

- Ms. Williams has been teaching and encouraging clients, peers and her family in the area of personal finance for more than 10 years. Ms. Williams is known affectionately as the “All Cash Queen” among her peers and family. As a certified financial counselor, Rhonda brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to her audience.

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Did you know?

African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general population (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.

Source: Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study