How to Teach Your Kids About Money
When it comes to money, Michelle says her daughter Samantha believes it actually does grow on trees!
Michelle says, "She breaks and loses cell phones; she's lost three pairs of glasses at $200 a pop. She thinks she can ask for or demand whatever she wants or needs and it will magically appear. Her spending habits are irresponsible."
Samantha says, "I have no bills, I have nothing I want to save up and buy that's really expensive, so what should I save it for? If I do have a certain amount of money, I want to blow it all. That's it."
How can Michelle get her daughter to appreciate the value of money, and at what age should you start teaching your kids to be financially responsible? Bill Rancic, winner of The Apprentice and author of Beyond the Lemonade Stand, has some advice for this mother and daughter along with some tips that every parent should know about instilling fiscal wisdom in their children.
Bill says: "Mom, you can tell her everything in the world, but actions speak louder than words. The only way Samantha is going to learn is by watching you and the habits that you develop and instill in her. And secondly, you gotta cut her off -- I mean, enough is enough!"
"Samantha, you have to become an earner. Whether it's babysitting or dog walking, there's a million things out there that you can do to earn money."
Bill tells Rachael that their situation is not an isolated one. "Young adults are the fastest-growing segment of people declaring bankruptcy," Bill says. "It is serious, and the habits they develop as a child are typically the habits they're going to have as an adult. So we've got to start them early."
• When kids are 5-7 years old, get them a piggie bank. That's a great way to start and you can do it together. Start putting pennies and quarters and dollars in that piggie bank, and when the bank's full, you can graduate them to a youth savings account. Any of the major banks have them. You take the piggie bank and cash it in. It's fun because the child will get a statement delivered each month and they can watch their money grow.
• As they get older (11-14 years old), sit them down with you when you're paying the bills. Explain to them that just because you put something on the credit card doesn't mean it's free. They can see that the trip to Disneyland certainly added up when you're writing out the checks for the different bills that you had to incur.
• At 15 years old and up, maybe get them a debit card and then you can sit down and track the purchases that they make each month. It empowers them to go out and make the purchases on their own. So when they go to the store, they know they only have $100 in that account and they're going to be bargain shoppers. They're going to know that it's not an endless well and they're going to try to find the best deal out there.
• After they master the debit card and they're ready to go off to college, you can graduate them to a regular credit card. When you give them a credit card, it's important to sit down with them and go over the application so they understand about penalties, late fees and compounding interest. Go over that with them, because then the kids can know: Wow, this is really going to add up if I don't take care of it month after month.
Bill has some final advice for Samantha. "You have to start going out and finding a job, finding ways to generate money. Once you earn that money, you have to learn how to save it. I'm going to recommend the "50-40-10" rule: For every dollar you make, save 50 percent of it. You can spend 40 percent on whatever you want, and then 10 percent you have to give away to charity -- you've got to do something to help someone else, to make a difference in the world."
To help Samantha get started, for every dollar she saves in the next six months, Bill is going to match it -- up to $5,000!
Top 5 Kid Businesses You Can Start Today
excerpted from Beyond the Lemonade Stand
Take a Walk -- When I was growing up, a lot of people in my neighborhood had one or more dogs. In many cases the dog owners worked full time jobs and couldn't let the dogs out during the day. This job involves walking the dog or dogs and cleaning up after them.
It's Party Time! -- At a birthday party full of preschoolers, moms need extra help entertaining and corralling the party guests. As a birthday party coordinator, you'll help do just that! You can plan games and activities for children's house parties, watch the kids, help serve the cake, make and pass out goodie bags and help mom clean up after the party.
Technology Tutor -- Ever feel like you know more about computers and electronics than your parents or grandparents? Chances are you do. Use your knowledge to help the less tech-savy learn word processing, e-mail, instant messaging or how to use the internet. If you're good with electronics, help them program and use their new iPod.
Homework Helper -- Not only will you make money at this job, you'll have the good feeling that comes from knowing that you really helped someone. You can help younger kids after school or on weekends with their homework.
Kid Coach -- When I was younger, we didn't start playing organized sports until almost seventh grade. Now kids can join soccer teams when they are just four years old. Becoming a one-on-one sports coach involves working with kids on a sport of their choice. It may involve throwing pitches, kicking soccer balls, or shooting free throws.
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