April is National Financial Literacy month. Financial literacy is one of the most important skills a young person can develop, and often these skills aren’t being taught as part of required high school curriculum. In the US, only four states currently require students to take a semester of personal financial education. The ultimate responsibility of teaching kids the value of money, how to save it and how to spend it wisely, falls on the parents. Teaching your kids early about managing money will help them develop financial skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.
The American Bankers Association provides these helpful tips for money-savvy parents raising money-smart kids:
Set the example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.
Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them – even the tough ones.
Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.
Open a savings account for your children and take them with you to make deposits, so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.
Let friends and family know about your child’s savings goal. They’ll be more likely to give cash for special occasions, which means more trips to the bank.
Engage your community. Many schools, banks and community organizations share your commitment to creating a money-savvy generation. Engage a coalition of support to provide youth with the education they need to succeed.
Washington Trust Bank