Financial Life Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Children

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People say that knowledge is power, but what if you don’t posses the knowledge you need to succeed? The unfortunate answer is that you won’t succeed, at least not to the level that you desire. If that is a scary thought, it gets even scarier when you apply it to your children. Every parent wants their kids to lead a happy and prosperous life, so every parent needs to impart wisdom along the way. There are some things that they don’t teach at school, and that is where you step in and fill in the gaps. Finance is probably the best example, which is why you’ll find the best financial tips to teach your kids below.

Wait For The Right Moment

Kids are impulsive and want everything as soon as possible. Hell, there are a lot of adults that fit into that category too. But, there is a problem with this way of thinking: it leads you to make financial mistakes. Have you ever wondered why some people are in mountains of debt? The easy answer is that they have bitten off more than they can chew. Of course, everyone wants nice things like a car or a house, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of a family’s future. The sooner children learn they have to wait, the better the decisions they will make with in the future.

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Don’t Be Scared Of Big Decisions

The big decisions aren’t ones to fear; they are ones to cherish. The great thing about making big decisions is that they often have the biggest rewards. Take buying a house as an example. To buy one, most people need to take out a mortgage. Since the crash in 2008, the term mortgage isn’t one that fills people with trust. In fact, lots of people think that a mortgage is a bad idea. The truth is that a mortgage is essential as long as you understand it inside and out. Nowadays, that is a lot easier to do when you go online at CalMtg.com and other mortgage professionals. With the right amount of patience and confidence, your children’s finances will never be in doubt.

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Save, Save, And Save Some More

Okay, so it isn’t a great time to save especially now interest rates are lower than before. Still, there will come a time when they will rise, and your children will want to take advantage. Although spending is more fun, saving is the practical option. It is the financial tip that will ensure your kids will always have money for a rainy day. Excuse the cliché, but it is true. Parents can’t always bail their kids out when they are in too deep, and kids need to learn this important life lesson. Putting away a little every month is a great way to create a buffer, and if it doesn’t come in handy they can spend it on a holiday.

The above is only a small glimpse into the big bad world of finance. Even so, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way.

Money Mayhem: Don’t Make These Mistakes

Money is great when you have it, but there are still tonnes of mistakes to be made that can either cost you your hard earned cash, or cost you the opportunity to make more. It pays to stay wise where your money is concerned because it can be the difference between your future being bright or bleak. There are certain mistakes that are worse than others, and can really cost you your future happiness. You need to do more than simply hold onto your money by spending wisely. These mistakes should always be avoided, and luckily, it is quite easy to do so.

Over Extending On A Mortgage

Buying a house or apartment is supremely exciting. You get to have your own space and finally put your own stamp on a property by designing it yourself and decorating how you see fit. But don’t take the biggest mortgage you can, because it could prove hard paying it back whilst still maintaining a comfortable way of living. Instead take a reasonable amount that won’t stretch you to breaking point. Remember, when you get a new home you’re likely going to need spare cash to renovate. You may need a new kitchen or bathroom so make sure you have the money there to do that. If you dump it all on a deposit you won’t, sure, you’ll have a great home, but no money to do what you need to do.

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Protect Your Money During Marriage

If you have a decent amount of savings as you go into a marriage it can be a good idea to get a prenuptial agreement drawn up. It may sound harsh asking for such a thing, but it can really save you losing out big time down the line. If you get divorced you’ll have to use the Best Law Firm to ensure you take away the majority of your cash, but if you had a prenup then it could have all been avoided. It may sound like one of those things that only celebrities and millionaires use, but you’ll be surprised by how useful they can be to protect even the smallest of savings. It may hurt your other half, but they’ll ultimately understand, you may not even need to use the agreement, but it is a great precaution to have in place and it will save you thousands.

Not Letting Your Savings Work For You

If you have any kind of savings in the bank then you need to put them to work to earn yourself a passive income. Even if it is moving them over to a bank account which offers better interest rates. These always vary so make sure you keep an eye on them and adjust them as necessary. You can also try checking out the ISA accounts. These are fixed term saving accounts which means you can’t withdraw from them until the time period is over but as a result you can benefit from higher interest rates. You can find some of the best ISA’s here.

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Will Your Kids Be Financially Secure?

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Financing is a scary topic of conversation for most people. The majority of adults struggle to maintain a financially secure situation, but with children, the concept is foreign and boring. It can be hard to make the topic seem a little less dull when explaining it to your kids, but some of these conversations are better had now. I’m sure you’d rather you helped them now, as opposed to when they’re adults and they come back to you with financial problems out of which they’re struggling to wiggle.

The reason you should be asking yourself whether your children will be financially secure is because one day they’ll be sorting out their finances for themselves. There’s only so much you can help them, but one day you won’t be there and they’ll have to make decisions by themselves. It may not be a pressing issue on their minds now, but considering most adults are perplexed by money and how we’re ‘supposed’ to be using it, it’s best to ensure your child never ends up in such a tricky, confusion, unstable situation.

Aiming for success rather than money is a crucial skill.

If you’re in a financially secure position, the reason you most likely ended up here was through a good career at some point in your life, whether that was in the past or you’re currently in a very stable job. The most invaluable advice you can give to your children is to focus their energy on finding out what their true goal out of life is and pursuing their talents. Their skillset will lead them a good career and that will financially support them much more than any savings account or investment scheme.

Teach your children to take advantage of opportunities in life and seek out their own happiness and success before all else. If they think about this, money will come as a result. Just focusing on money can be a damaging way to live, as it doesn’t actually provide any solutions or methods to achieve financial independence and security. If your child ends up in a company with great career progression, they can chase goals rather than money. Of course, the two go hand in hand, so it’ll work out perfectly for them. It’s all about the right mindset.

Goals should be short-term.

We’ve already discussed the importance of reaching for goals and happiness, rather than simply money in and of itself. Of course, this doesn’t mean your children should be stretching endlessly for distant future objectives. When they become a young adult and enter the working world, they’ll still have their whole lives ahead of them. This will be a time for them to learn about the fine balance between socialising and working. They might benefit from getting help from companies such as Blueprint Wealth – financial advisors; as there’s only so much you can do to teach them how to use their money. It is their money, after all.

Of course, saving is still important.

Whilst building a career and striving for happiness is key, let’s not discourage the importance of saving. It’s always important to think about future investments, rather than encourage your kids to blow money as soon as they earn it. Some element of planning should be involved. That’s a crucial thing to teach your kids, because, as recent educational reforms have shown, we haven’t done a great job at educating the younger generation about debt as of the last few decades.

Whilst that may change in the future, it’s up to you to act now to educate your children. They might have a secure job, but they need to know what to do with their salary once they’ve earnt it.

How to Create a Child’s Savings Habit

Most of our habits, both good and bad we learn in childhood. By encouraging your child to save money early in life you are preparing them for a lifetime of financial responsibility and prosperity.

Einstein once referred to compound interest as one of the wonders of the world. A great example of the power of compound interest comes from the selling of Manhattan for a handful of beads:

In the early 1600s, the American Indians sold an island, now called Manhattan in New York, for various beads and trinkets worth about $16. Since Manhattan real estate is now some of the most expensive in the world, it would seem at first glance that the American Indians made a terrible deal. Had the American Indians, however, sold their beads and trinkets, invested their $16 and received 8% compounded annual interest, not only would they have enough money to buy back all of Manhattan, they would still have several hundred million dollars left over. That is the power of compound interest over time.

Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world uses a snowball analogy to explain compound interest:

“Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill”

The really long hill referring to the effect of time on the growth of money.

Here is a simple example. If your child saved £10 or $10 per week over their working lives of 40 years and received an interest rate of 5% they would accumulate £61,040. However if they started 10 years earlier, that would be £106,740. That’s a difference of over £45,000 from an extra investment of £5,200.

Given that time can play such an important part in the growth of money, the earlier a child starts his or her savings habit, the greater will be their return. Here are 5 top tips to encourage your child to start saving.

  1. Lead by Example – have a jar or money box where you deposit your spare change. Children learn more by what you do than what you say. By wanting to follow your example your job is half done.
  2. Add interest – when your child is old enough to understand the concept of interest you can act like a bank and top up their savings. Keep the numbers simple by adding 1 coin for every 5 or 10 they save. It’s a good opportunity to introduce some simple yet important money lessons.
  3. Open an account – go with your child to the bank and open a savings account. Then make an event of going and making a deposit. Your child will make positive associations with the act of paying in money.
  4. Save for a purpose – it’s much easier to create an interest in saving (excuse the pun), when there is a strongly desired outcome on the end of it. Encourage your child to save for a holiday, a particular toy or something they value.
  5. Consistency – For saving to become a habit it must be done regularly and often. Then gradually, like brushing your teeth it becomes automatic and habitual. If you give an allowance encourage your child to immediately put some money away. If they get extra for chores or birthdays encourage them to allocate a percentage to saving.

In all the above examples it should be emphasised that for the money saving habit to stick it must be enjoyable and rewarding. The word encourage is used rather than coerce or force. Just as compound interest will reap rewards over time, so too will the investment in time spent to encourage the savings habit in your child.

We recommend the Moonjar system for encouraging children to save. Please visit The Financial Fairy Tales for details