How to start educating your adult children on financial literacy?

As a financial literacy influencer, I believe it’s never too early to start teaching our children about money matters, including the responsible use of credit, building up a good FICO Score. With many adults in the United States falling into debt and credit card problems, it’s important that we equip our children with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed financial decisions.

The very first step in teaching children about money is to give them a basic understanding of its value. Let them earn an allowance by doing chores and make purchases that they will have to save for over time. Allow them to interact with money, handling, counting and making small purchases to give them the feel of its importance. By doing so, children learn to appreciate the value of money and how it can be used for saving, spending, and giving.

Parents are responsible for setting a good example when it comes to financial management. They should lead by example if they want to instill good money habits in their children. One way is to openly discuss what they are doing with their own finances in front of their children without making them feel guilty or ashamed. Admitting that there are financial struggles and explaining the steps taken to alleviate financial stress can help children understand the importance of good money management and the secret workings of being adult.

Teaching the basics of credit can be challenging for parents, especially when sometimes we may be unaware of how credit works themselves. Considering how complicated terms and conditions as reported by 60 minutes, even the most intelligent among us finds it hard to understand rates. For example, a credit card company is allowed to change and increase the interest rates charged on your carrying balance after you signed up, and it is totally legal. A bad decision to cancel a credit card or forgetting to pay a balance can hurt one’s FICO score and make it very expensive later on to get a mortgage.

Credit cards are ubiquitous, and the concept of FICO Score, credit card points collection, using cash instead of credit, the concept of borrowing money can be difficult to grasp for a child. How can we help them have a balanced financial outlook? A good initial step is to help children understand what is FICO Score, purpose of starting and maintaining a good credit score. Also credit cards are not free money, but rather a tool that allows you to borrow money that is to be paid back at a determined period. A good way to explain this concept is by stating that for every purchase, a promise is also taken by the cardholder, that it will be paid back in full, with interest that accrues over time. If they have siblings or friends, two friends can each play the role of a bank issuing credit and another receiving credit and using it.

It’s also important to teach children about credit card interest rates and how carrying a balance can add more debt over time. Inform them that a credit card can be useful for emergencies and planned purchases, points but should be paid back as soon as possible to avoid steep interest rates. Help them choose wisely when considering a bank account, maybe helping them compare options and educate them on fees that a credit card may have while also explaining the benefits of building credit early on.

Lastly, teaching children about money management is not a one time event but a consistent effort, an ongoing process. Encourage your kids to ask questions about money and credit and explain complex ideas such as saving, budgeting, and investing. These life skills can be introduced to kids at any age and they can develop further as they grow older. Having regular discussions about finance and credit with your children can help instill good habits and set them up to be financially sound adults.

In conclusion, teaching children about financial literacy, the responsible use of credit cards, and money management starts with understanding the power tool of money. Like a kitchen knife, it can be used to prepare delicious meals or cut someone. As parents, we should give examples of how we are managing credit, our way of buying things, involve children in discussing family finances. Teaching children that credit is not a free handout and that interest rates can add up quickly is essential.

Encourage them to ask questions, make mistakes about money and make it a goal to continue to help them build their financial literacy skills throughout their childhood and into their adult years. Read books and take courses together on money. I find playing the game Rich Dad Poor Dad Board Game on Rat Race helps understand concept of credit and money.

By doing so, we can set our children up for a better chance getting a mortgage without paying higher interest rates, a more stable and prosperous future, free from unnecessary debt and financial stress.

I am curious to know what you have done? how you are dealing with the topic of money. And if you have adult children, how did you help them understand money and become successful? Share with me your advice especially if your kids are already successful adults. I like to hear from you.

If you like what I wrote, I encourage you to visit my channel on TikTok “iwantyoutoberich” or YouTube to subscribe for more on financial literacy.

How to talk about money this holiday?

This holiday, you may probably meeting people, families and the opportunity to bring up topics that you may need but not want to take on – Money.

For example, do you have friends that have a lifestyle that you can no longer keep up with but you like to keep them as friends? Perhaps they are all single, and recently you just have a new baby or child in your life that you need to support? Or did you just lose your job in the recent tech retrenchment and can no longer afford or doesn’t want the fancy dinners?

Talking about money is awkward, especially when it is with friends or family.

Here’s some tips about it.

Tip 1

Start off by getting things off your chest by talking to a non-risky person, for example, a taxi driver, a stranger. This helps you get your thoughts organized and also maybe the stranger may offer you some insights. Sometimes it also helps the person simply listened to you. You can also talk to your therapist about the topic of money you have.

Tip 2

Choose the place and time to talk to this person. Maybe it is a family reunion you are going to be at. There is never the perfect time but make sure you let this person know you want to talk so this person make time and space for it.

Tip 3

Start off by listening and be non judging about the other person talking. This is so that the other person gets to talk as much as possible. Money is an emotional subject. Even if you don’t agree with what the other person has to say, keep a neutral facial expression, and continue to be an active listener. Money habits cannot be easily changed. The way a person buys things, treats things and continuously buy things is a relationship acquired from a very young age, deeply ingrained. You cannot change this person simply through an argument.

Tip 4

Think about who can help. If your sibling is constantly getting into financial mayhem, you might want to think of a money coach, online program or budgeting books to start the pace and later make it easier to get into the difficult conversation. Sometimes these books, online programs make it less shameful for the sibling to talk about their money issues. You also address the root cause of money issues.

Tip 5

This is probably not the first time or the last time this person is in financial trouble. You see, the part about money, how to live, buy things, save was never taught in school. Many people grow up with a hole in their hearts and many fall prey to advertising and buying more than they should. Therefore, think of something more long term, more beneficial than just lending this person money. Understand that the risk of having a money conversation. This person may never speak to you again, and may avoid you after this conversation about money. They may brand you as “busybody”, “too rude”. However if you are not intentional about your money, and talk about it, you can get into trouble easily.

Tip 6

Try to understand this person’s view about money and what are his or her values?

Avoiding and not communicating about money can hurt those you loved the most. It is vital to know where your siblings stand in terms of money

Here’s some lines

I recently came across a book about personal finance and been reading about it. You mentioned sometime back you are behind on your credit cards, I like to know more about how you are dealing with it. Any advice on how to use these credit cards I can use?

What does money bring you?

Are you confident managing money? What are some of your proudest moments regarding your own money?

Are you open to talk about money?

To friends who are going out for dinner. “I understand we normally go to these restaurants for dinners. Recently I have a baby, and I like to know if you are open to ideas of having dinner at my place instead of dining out? This will make it easier for me to keep to my budget. What are your thoughts?”

Tell me how you have been dealing with money and how you talk to your family about money this holiday season?