Introducing the habit of saving to our children.
It is never too early to start talking to our children about saving money. The traditional piggy bank is a great incentive for a child when parents introduce the notion that " a penny saved is a penny earned." As the piggy bank gains weight, the child recognizes the benefit of adding coins to their piggy bank. A trip to the Big Bank to start a savings account reinforces the lifelong habit of thrift. Tuck a Buck a Day Away, a local bank's slogan when I was a youngster, still rings in my ears. The joy of saving money is realized when a child is giving a modicum of discretion as to how a portion of their savings can be used. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has put together some great tools and resources at Feed the Pig.org
Early Savings for college.
Horror stories regarding college debt are discouraging our youth and their parents. Excessive and expensive loans have made it almost impossible to meet the monthly expenses of recent graduates. Therefore, potential opportunities for desirable careers are going to students who have prepared for the costs of a college degree. One of the many resources available to help you and your children understand the costs of college is Federal Student Aid.ed.gov This website is proved by the U.S. Department of Education and covers a variety of topics including preparing for college and budgeting to applying for aid, types of assistance and who gets it. A Realistic college savings goal requires a dedicated savings plan in which parents participate with their children at an early age. A solid savings plan and academic scholarships coupled with attending a college that is within the college spending budget will help students achieve their career goals. Just as it is never too early to start talking to children about saving money, the same holds true for talking about their career and credentials required to accomplish one of their most important lifetime goals.
Understanding the difference between wants and needs.
The Millionaire Next Door is a book a book that demonstrates how two professionals with identical salaries live on opposite ends of the continuum - one buys anything he Wants, and the other buys only what he Needs. The outcome is disastrous. Our children observe our buying and saving behaviors and may well carry them into adulthood. Discussing Wants vs. Needs with our children is a gift that keeps on giving.
Shaping our Legacy.
The money one saves over a lifetime depends on lots of variables. Seldom does luck enter the equation? Working with a budget, a specific savings plan and giving to a worthy cause provides us with a certain satisfaction and peace of mind. We will be remembered for how we used our time, talent and treasure to make this a better world. These are the traits that define us and shape our legacy. Hopefully, our children will notice and emulate our actions.
Do you have questions about talking to your children about saving money? Maybe something else is weighing on your mind? Whatever it may be, we are here to help! Please feel free to reach out.