Talking about Money shouldn’t be taboo.
Financial literacy isn’t something we are born with; it’s something that takes a lot of time to achieve and it requires a good teacher. Being a millennial dad means that you’re very familiar with financial hardship, be it because of the overwhelming student loans, credit card debts or the never-ending pile of bills and expenses.
Growing up, we all had different understandings of money. Some parents were able to openly talk to us about finances, while others were very careful that our little ears didn’t hear a peep from them about the family’s financial situation. Millennial dads have a chance to do things right and start teaching their kids a thing or two about money.
The Value of Money
Shielding your children from any discussion about money is not healthy; offering them lessons in economics by using things they can relate to is definitely the yellow brick road towards turning them into well-functioning adults.
The first thing you need to do is to develop a strategy: what are the important lessons you wished you were taught when you were a child? How do you want your children to understand the value of money? Teaching by offering examples is an effective approach; helping them grasp the concept of value is, in fact, helping them choose wisely later in life.
I Want and I Need Are Totally Different Things
Using examples they can relate to, you can help them understand how to choose according to their needs and they will eventually get a good grasp on the concept of delayed gratification – a concept that usually goes completely against their child instincts.
You will have to explain to your child the difference between wanting something and needing it. Using their allowance as an example is a great way to start helping them actually think about what it means to work towards turning wishes into reality.
Always Make an Informed Decision
It’s never too early to teach your kids about supply and demand or about why quality is more important than quantity. Considering the fact that there’s hardly any doubt about the fact that our children will rely greatly on technology when they grow older, you will have to be the first one that teaches them about the importance of researching an item they wish to purchase. Show them how things should be done, from finding the best deal on the web for a particular item, to what it means to pay the bills.
Money Must Be Earned
It’s ok to tell your kids they can be anything they want. But it’s also important to make them understand that having money implies having to work for it. You can help them do just that by showing them how things work by implementing a reward system based on their actions. You could offer rewards if they do their kids jobs properly picking up their toys, finishing a particularly horrendous broccoli soup or any other child-appropriate work. This is a major lesson, one that will make it clear to them that hard work always pays off in the end.
Saving Is Essential
Learning how to save money is the ultimate lesson in financial wisdom. Millennials represent a generation that learned fast that sometimes a single income isn’t enough to make ends meet, which means a lot of them have at least one side job.
The main reason millennials are saving money is that they wish to have a better future. Saving is a necessity for most people, and it isn’t always an easy thing to do. You can help your kids in a big way by making them understand why saving is good and how they can do it properly. The next time your kids ask for an expensive toy, help them set up a savings account in the form of a piggy bank and guide them towards achieving their goal.
Making a habit of discussing money and financial issues in a way they can understand is a huge service to your kids. It will help them have less anxiety about financial matters once they grow up and it will infuse their minds with a healthy dose of knowledge that will prove very useful to them. Just remember that being their role model is also a vital part of them becoming financially savvy adults.
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