Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
What a wonderful opportunity we adults have to be wealth-building role models for future generations. As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles we’re being observed and imitated. With just a little effort on our part, we can help children begin building their future wealth.
Step One – Help children understand the positive power of money.
Wealth building starts with a wealthy attitude and mind-set. Research has shown that most habits, values and beliefs begin in childhood. Here’s where we adults come in; we can show children that money and wealth can be positive, empowering and enjoyable.
~ We’ve heard that attitude is everything and the same holds true with our wealth building attitudes. The money and wealth attitudes that children are observing and hearing day-to-day, are shaping how they’ll be viewing their own future abilities to build wealth and handle money.
~ Children can’t learn to handle money if they never get the opportunity to handle money. They learn “money” in school, but they learn the “value” of money at home. If you value your money, they’ll learn how to properly handle and value their money too.
~ Money is a necessity within our society but it’s not everything. That’s a huge lesson for many people, including children. How adults perceive the role of money in their own lives, is how children will learn to deal with money as an adult.
Step Two – Help children appreciate banking, saving and investing.
When I read the book Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach, I was impressed with the story of how his grandmother helped him buy his first share of stock at age six. It’s this early appreciation for building wealth that makes a lasting wealth-building impression on children.
~ By introducing the premise of “paying yourself first” children learn that saving is not only important but a way of building wealth. Paying yourself first is a habit. Taking ten percent out of a gift, an allowance or a paycheck is an excellent start to building the healthy habit of wealth.
~ Ben Franklin had it right when he said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It’s called compound interest. Once the piggy bank is full and it’s placed in a savings account, the original balance earns interest plus the interest earns interest. That’s how money grows.
~ Investments can begin with one share of stock. What child wouldn’t want to be a part owner of Disney or Mattel? This is a great way to teach the concept of passive income and multiple streams of income. When they are old enough to appreciate it, they’ll have their own stock portfolio.
Step Three – Help children become responsible for their money.
Teaching children how to spend money is probably as important as saving money. They’re watching and listening to how you’re earning, spending and handling money. Are you an inspiration for future wealth-building generations?
~ Do you give an allowance or just give them spending money? There’s always been a debate. “Why should I pay children for something they should be doing anyway?” An allowance should be about learning to manage money. Saving, spending, investing – the wealth-building lessons come from how they manage their own allowance.
~ When the money is gone, it’s gone. Being responsible with money means knowing how to budget it for the “want to have’s” and “must do’s.” Learning financial accountability is part of being financially responsible. The money skills learned as a child become the wealth skills of the money-savvy adult.
~ Money is fun. Teaching children that you can have fun with money is teaching that money is enjoyable and pleasurable. Responsibility means finding a monetary balance between having fun and saving for long-term goals.
As an adult you have a powerful conscious and unconscious influence over the children in your life. Are you proud of the financial habits you’re passing along?
I recommend reading my articles Financial Gifts for Any Holiday and Special Occasion and Smart Women Finish Rich – A Review and the links is at the bottom of the page.
I also recommend the book Rich Kid Smart Kid by Robert Kiyosaki – here’s a link to Amazon.com where you can read more about the book or even order it: Rich Kid Smart Kid
You may want to take a few minutes to visit my website www.SharonMichaels.com for more empowering suggestions, tools and tips.