Are you able to tell me how much money your parents made each year when you were ten years old? Probably not. I bet a lot of people couldn’t. Why exactly is that? For the simple reason that families don’t talk about money a lot, and they especially don’t talk about it with their kids. Most kids will have no clue if their parents have a lot of money unless they happen to get a whole lot of extra expensive presents this year for Christmas, and they don’t know the family is struggling unless the family vacation is canceled this year, or their parents bring home a box of donated cans from a food drive.
Many parents believe it is not appropriate to reveal to their kids about their finances for instance how much they make and how much they spend. They simply feel it is none of their business. You could easily agree, but should you? Is it really none of their business? Doesn’t their parent’s income affect them? They use the money to purchase their food, clothes, shelter, and the things they need. If they unexpectedly didn’t have a job, wouldn’t the loss in income impact them, therefore making it their business?
I’m not going to say you should show your children every paycheck before cashing it or that you ought to have your kids help make key financial decisions, however I will say you should keep them involved and informed. It is a piece of teaching them about money and life. Your kids follow your every move and learn from you. If they notice that finances are not important and nobody talks about it, they will place no significance on it when they are older. You need to teach your kids about finances because they won’t learn it in school. It would be beneficial if they had finance class in high school, however they don’t. As a parent, it’s crucial that you teach them about saving, investing, and steering clear of credit. Also, you have to be managing your own finances well if you really want to get through to them. Talk to your kids about the family finances.
Tell them how much your income is. It might help them decide their own career choices if they like what you do. Tell them how you budget your own money and talk to them before buying significant purchases for instance a new car. Include them in the process so they really learn how it works and are familiar with it before they go through it themselves. You could include them more and more as they get older. Don’t make money a taboo issue in your home. Encourage financial discussion and financial literacy to ensure future financial success.
What are your thoughts on this subject, where do you draw the line on how much information you share with your kids and what are your ideas on how to educate them about personal finances?
Andrew W Bradley is a licensed Insurance Broker and Financial Services Advisor helping Orleans families since 2011. Combining this with his previous working experience with the Canada Revenue Agency enables him to help a wide range of individuals, families and businesses. As an Independent Broker he devotes time to educating the consumer and implementing comprehensive financial plans for both individuals and businesses in areas including insurance and investments. \
The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. I recommend that you obtain your own independent professional advice (preferably me) before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.