Do you want your kids to be successful adults? Then you need to make sure they manage money well. Here’s how to raise financially successful kids…
Do you want your kids to grow up and be successful adults?
Of course you do!
A big part of that is making sure that they understand money and become financially responsible and successful.
Most middle and high schools don’t require financial or money management courses or classes on personal finances.
This is why it is vital that you, as a parent, help your kids learn how to manage money well.
The main lesson: Spend less than you earn!
If you teach your kids anything about personal finance, this is probably the most important and the foundation of all other lessons.
If you spend more than you earn, then you are going to be in debt and will never be financially secure or independent.
As a single mom, one of my main concerns is that my 2 daughters grow up and become self-sufficient adults and responsible with money.
I want to do everything I can to make sure that they are able to support themselves and make wise money decisions – especially since I struggled financially when I first became a single mom. I want both of my daughters to be well-prepared for anything unexpected that might happen.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
Related: Money Management Tips for Teens
Why you need to raise financially successful kids
I’m sure that you don’t want your adult children struggling with lots of debt and unable to pay bills or living at home with you and not contributing to society.
You need to help your kids become financially successful:
- to set boundaries and avoid unhealthy dependency when they become adults
- to help them become responsible
- so you don’t deplete your savings or retirement by trying to help them financially
What you need to do to raise financially successful kids
1. Don’t rely on schools
First, as I already mentioned, most middle and high schools do not do a good job of explaining personal finance and responsibility to students.
Don’t expect schools to teach your children money concepts like budgeting, investing, staying out of debt, the basics of credit cards, etc.
If they do teach these things, the lessons will most likely not be in-depth and you will definitely need to reinforce the lessons at home.
2. Talk about money often
Simply use daily opportunities to discuss money, budgeting and finances.
- comparison costs
- your own financial mistakes (regrets)
Bring up these topics when you are:
- paying bills
- shopping at the store
- negotiating with your kids over an item that they want
- using coupons at the store
- comparing prices
- trying to get a discount
- buying gifts
Explain to your kids why you are making this purchasing decision at the store instead of another one. Tell them why you are choosing to buy this item instead of that one.
I’m going to wait until this item is on sale.
I want to save the money I’d spend on this item for our fun summer vacation to the water park.
We use this product a lot, so I’m going to buy 2 today since this is a great sale price.
You can also bring up the concept of “opportunity cost” – if I buy this item now, then I won’t have that money to buy another item later.
3. Emphasize saving
Open a savings account for your kids as early as possible (I did when my girls were under 1 year old).
Talk about saving money and saving vs. spending. Help your kids realize that they need to save money if they want to purchase something they don’t have money for. (Credit cards should not be used for this purpose!)
4. Teach the basics
Teach basic money concepts to your kids, like:
5. Teach them about credit cards
Your kids should know what a credit card is and how to use it responsibly.
Show them credit card statements and talk about the charges, interest, and payments due.
You can even help your teen get a credit card while still living with you so you can teach them how to use it responsibly (but rarely!).
Related: Teaching teens about credit cards
6. Encourage them to work – and be an entrepreneur!
Encourage them to work – even young kids can be creative and find ways to earn some money!
Show them how to get a job or how to use their skills and talents to make extra money.
Encourage them to be entrepreneurs! Tell them to get creative!
Related: Prepare your teen for a first job
7. Expose them to different career options
Talk to your kids about different jobs and provide opportunities for them to shadow people who have careers they are interested in.
This is a great way for them to be able to get a feel for the job and gauge their interest level as well.
Related: Alternatives to College
8. Teach them to get creative
Teach your kids to think outside the box to ways to save money and make money!
Help them learn how to the art of DIY.
Before spending money, show them:
- DIY projects (there are tons of YouTube tutorials on ALL subjects)
- how to make their own repairs
- ways to sell products or services
When I was growing up, my dad would do a lot of car repairs to save money. He read a lot of manuals and would ask experts he knew for advice so he could do his own repairs and save money.
Budgeting seems to be a taboo subject. It’s important to teach your kids how to manage money but learning to budget is a vital part of that.
Financial success involves knowing how much income is coming in each month and how much of that you are spending (and making sure the expense is less than the income!).
10. Live on less than you make
The goal is to spend less than you make!
If you teach your kids to live on less than they make (no matter how much salary), they will always be able to put money into savings or investments for retirement.
11. Avoid debt!
Teach your kids to do everything possible to avoid debt.
Financially successful people avoid debt, build up savings, and live within their means.
Teach your kids to do the same.
12. Say no
Don’t give your kids everything they want!
Yes, you need to provide for them. Pay for the basics, but once your kids start working have them pay for the extras.
Yes, you need shoes for school. I’ll buy these (basic ones). If you want the designer ones, you’ll need to pay the difference.
13. Help them invest
Teach them the basics of investing. If you don’t know yourself, then learn first.
At the very least, once they start working and making money, help them open a Roth IRA (and make sure they contribute regularly!). (Yes, once your teen has earned income he can contribute to a Roth IRA – something I wish I had started as a working teen!)
14. Let them make mistakes
Finally, let them make (small) money mistakes while they are still living at home with you. This gives them a chance to learn from their mistakes with your help.
We all make mistakes. It’s far better to let your kids make poor money choices while you can still help them and show them how to change their money habits.
If you want some more ideas about how to raise kids who are great with money, check out this easy-to-read book that is one of my favorites:
Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey
If you feel like you could use some money tips for yourself, this is my all-time favorite book on money (based on a series of letters/lessons from the author to his young daughter about how to manage money well from the start):
The Simple Path to Wealth by J L Collins
Being a parent means raising your kids to be mature, successful adults. It doesn’t happen overnight. The same with teaching them money concepts. If you want to raise financially successful kids, you need to make sure you cover these 14 steps. What are you doing to help your kids learn to manage money well and grow up to be financially successful? Share your best tips!