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Change Your Child’s Financial Future

March 8, 2010

Here in 2010 I shudder to think 10 years from now and how people will react to money. The news nowadays is rife with stories about people losing their entire savings, parents out of jobs for a year or even more, families losing their homes and much worse.

When I started Money Scholar ( in August 2008, I merely wanted to introduce the conversation of kids saving money. I not only wanted children to save money, I wanted them to learn about saving, investing, giving and spending so I created a series of fun piggy banks. Or, as I call them, “ the piggy banks of the future.”

Two years later and our world is in the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression. It has become apparent to me that even more needs to be done. Financial literacy programs should be added to the curriculum at our children’s schools but with art and music being cut, I do not think financial literacy will be added when other programs are being axed.

So how do we change this?

FIRST:   Start Talking. we begin by having the conversation about money with children. Instead of ignoring the conversation entirely or having the mindset that a child is too young to discuss money, embrace it. An idea is to have children be rewarded when they do special jobs around the house such as washing your car.  By starting a dialogue early enough with children, we have a chance to teach them about money and how it can work to our benefit and not be something that is a negative force in our life.

NEXT:   Start Saving. we begin by teaching them about saving. This is critical. At their age, it may just be reminding them of how much they want a certain toy or perhaps they want to go to the movies in the coming weeks. Well, if they want to go, they need to start saving. They need to realize that money is not lying around all the time.

LAST:  Start Giving. we should discuss the topic of giving with them. If you attend a place of worship and are able to give weekly, then that is a time to discuss why you give. Let children discuss where the money goes after you give it away. Volunteering one’s time at a shelter or food bank is also eye-opening to a child. Having a child fill a bag full of toys and clothes that they don’t need anymore and all of you collectively bring to the shelter or drop off center is another way to start the children talking about the gift of giving.

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