Do you truly care about the security and the financial future of your student’s or children? If so it is important that you prepare them for the financial challenges that await them as they move away from home.
The National Youth Financial Educators Council developed these ten simple tips that will help your child avoid the financial pitfalls that plague so many young people today.
Tip #1 Relate Money to Lifestyle. Who cares about money? It’s what money allows us to do that motivates our children to learn about personal finance. Talk to your child about their personal dreams and discover what they’re passionate about. Then relate their aspirations to how understanding money basics will make their life easier and will help them reach their goals sooner.
Tip #2 Eliminate Limiting Beliefs about Money. Even though many of us have had difficulties handling our finances – mostly due to lack of financial education instruction – we must avoid passing along negative associations about money. It’s OK to share financial mistakes with your child just be sure to do it in an encouraging way. Reverse those old false sayings because “you can make money without money”.
Tip #3 Develop Their Foundation Skills. There are key personal traits that will make it easier your child to achieve the level of success they desire. The top five traits that will give your child a financial head start include: organization / time management, ethical character, developing a proper mindset, living ones passions and the ability to communicate effectively. These five real world skills will give your son or daughter a huge advantage in life.
Tip #4 Savings Plan. Get your child, teen or young adult in a habit of saving money. As long as you pay for their food and housing bills have them set aside 40% of all income they receive, including gifts and earned allowance, into a savings account. Lack of savings is the biggest problem plaguing most Americans so help them avoid debt by encouraging a savings plan as soon as possible.
Tip #5 Build a Solid Financial Foundation. Make sure your child has their: checking, savings, Roth IRA and brokerage accounts open as soon as possible (even if they do not have money to put into their brokerage or retirement accounts right now). People that have these accounts open are more likely to save their money and begin investing at a young age. Plus, it gives them an added sense of responsibility and status which are essential in the development of financially responsible children.
Tip #6 Power of Compounding Interest. Youth gives our children a huge advantage when it comes to their financial health due to compounding interest. When harnessed young, this powerful financial force will make securing their future and living the lifestyle they want a breeze. What’s more, it’s motivating to young adults to know that if they just invest $100 per month they can hit the million dollar mark in their fifties. Showing them how compounding interest works gets them excited and is a great way to help them think about the future.
Tip #7 Raising Free Thinkers. In today’s age, from the moment our newborn is exposed to the real world, they are brainwashed with advertiser’s messages to “buy, buy, buy”. Teach them to evaluate advertising by asking “what are they trying to convince me of”, “who are they targeting” and “what does this goal of this ad”. Doing so will help your child evaluate advertisements logically, instead of emotionally, and pick up marketing knowledge which is a key skill of many successful people.
Tip #8 Credit. Building a rock solid credit history will save your child tens of thousands of dollars throughout their lifetime. Understanding the basics of how credit reporting agencies work and how to use credit cards as a tool to build up their credit scores will put them well ahead of the ‘average’ person. Teach your children to pay their bills on time, keep debt low and introduce them to credit cards.
Tip #9 Three Keys to Wealth. For many the thought of investing can seem overwhelming because they don’t know what to invest in. This doesn’t need to be the case because the three investment vehicles that have created almost all (over 90%) financially free people include: the financial (stock) market, real estate and entrepreneurial endeavors. Since pensions and SSI will be a thing of the past when your children reach retirement age, it is critical they pick up some basic investment skills to ensure their financial security. It is important you talk to your children about each of these investment vehicles to help build their awareness of potential future investment options.
Tip #10 Entrepreneurial skills – In the 21st century, entrepreneurial skills are essential. With many jobs being sent oversees to capitalize on cheaper labor it is now more important than ever your child has the skills that employers want. Employers want people that think outside the box; so entrepreneurial skills will not only help them start their own business but will help them stand out in corporate America. Encourage them to start a business and give them the resources so they know what steps to take.
Bonus Tip: Provide Your Children a Professional Financial Education Course. A professional financial education course that has been certified by the National Youth Financial Educators Council is the only way to ensure that your children learn everything they need to know about money. We send our children to school to learn math, biology, literature but not money. We give them a professional education on many other subjects; shouldn’t we give them a professional education on a subject they will use every day of their life?