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Setting a good example

Setting a good example

The wpersonalfinance network asks about raising financially responsible children. The most important step that I think parents can take to raise financially responsible children is to set a good example. This means being responsible ourselves — using credit wisely, paying our bills on time, keeping our finances organized, etc. Children do what they see. If we don’t set a good example, or worse, if we set a bad example, kids are likely to see that and act the same way unless they later discover alternatives for themselves.

I also think it’s important to talk openly about finances. To me this means telling the truth in an age-appropriate way. For example, if I’d like to buy something but don’t have the money, I talk about what I’m doing to save up for what I want. If I do have the money, but don’t want to buy something, I don’t say that I “can’t” because I don’t have the money. Instead, I explain why I don’t want to buy the item or why it’s allocated for something else. Maybe I’m weird, but I also talk about things like the power of compound interest, retirement, why I always pay my credit card in full each month, etc.

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