The turn of a new year is often a time of reflection for many. This year, don’t make resolutions just for yourself, take the time to make resolutions with your children that can have a lifelong effect. Start by discussing and setting some financial goals for your kids. Whether it’s learning the tenants of savings, understanding the ins and outs of responsible credit card use or more, opening the dialogue can happen at any age, any time.
Here are a few tips to get the conversation started, no matter what age your children are:
- For younger children, start by having them keep track of money they earn by doing chores, are given as allowance, or receive as gifts from relatives. By tracking how much they receive and how they choose to spend or save it, you can begin to help them think strategically about money and plan responsibly.
- For tweens and early teenagers, don’t let their summer and after school job pay checks go to waste at the mall and local food joints. Rather, encourage them to open a savings or checking account at your bank and with a portion of their money begin discussing the merits of savings and earning interest from a savings account.
- For older teens take time to explore as many paths as possible, whether it’s college savings, saving for a new car, establishing credit, or discussing various investment techniques. Get them involved and interested in their financial well-being and see where the conversation takes you.
Finally, take it a step further. In order to make this a resolution to keep, sign a Money Management Action Plan (PDF) with your children, keeping you both responsible for starting and continuing the financial literacy learning cycle. Once you’ve set goals, you can then explore the learning tools available at the Manage Your Money section in the JA Student Center to begin setting the financial literacy wheels in motion.
Guest post from Dr. John Box, Senior Vice President of Education, JA WorldwideAbout Junior AchievementÂ® (JA). Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 137 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.