Raise your hand if you have ever uttered the question “why did nobody teach us about money and finances in school?”. If your hand is raised (which I’m certain is), you probably finish that statement muttering about the usefulness of Pythagorean theorem or the mitochondria. Don’t worry I’m not inside of your personal thoughts I’ve just heard this question asked repeatedly. It is honestly why I started speaking at different companies and organizations about raising financially responsible children.
Here is the reality, we can’t go back in time and force our teachers, parents or loved ones to educate us about money. But we do have two very good options going forward. The first of which is expanding our own financial knowledge as adults. This topic is one that I will cover in the coming weeks.
The second road we can travel is making sure that we are fostering an environment where the next generation does learn about personal finance. For companies and organizations, I host a workshop about raising financially responsible children; a topic that I am deeply passionate about. If you haven’t been able to participate in one of these workshops, I wanted to take some time today to share a few ways that you can foster financial learning in the next generation:
1. Speak Openly About Money: So many of us struggled learning about money growing up because it was such a taboo topic. It was considered rude or impolite to talk about finances, especially around friends and family. But how do you learn and gain knowledge if you aren’t willing to open up about a topic? And how can you help change things for the next generation if you can’t speak comfortably about finances?
2. Involve the Children in Your life in Financial Activities Take them to the food store and have them help you buy groceries, play store and teach them what goes in to running their own business, or give them an allowance for doing chores around the house (from there you can help them save and/ spend that money)
3. Read Financial Books Together: No, I don’t mean finance textbooks. The best part about the evolution of Amazon, book stores, and libraries is that we now have endless access to books. There are some great options out there to read before bed time. My favorites are Money Ninja, The Berenstein Bears- Dollars and Sense, and The Plastic Rectangle
Know that creating an environment where financial knowledge can grow takes time and you might not always get it right. But, by trying to speak openly and positively about money you can save those that come after you so much frustration when it comes to their finances.