Those three little faces up there are definitely the essence of my being. My life would not be complete without them. As a parent I am responsible for making sure they know the ins and outs of life and do my best to prepare them for the road ahead. Whether it’s teaching them how to treat others, teaching them life priorities or making sure they know all about health and life insurance, keeping them informed is my job as a parent. Teaching them responsibility is what I need to do so they can have the best start when they venture out on their own.
One of the things I, as a parent, need to do is make sure they know all about financial responsibility. Right now their world consists of saving money for video games and that’s about it. Unfortunately when you are out of your parents house and on your own your “needs” change. That game you thought you needed is last on the list. Facing a world full of paying car payments, buying food to eat, and making sure utilities are paid can be a shock to even the most prepared child. So I am hoping I send them out fully prepared, so they land on a cushioned featherbed rather than crash into concrete.
Here are a few things I hope to teach my kids about finances:
- No Credit Cards. I am not totally against having credit cards. However, I do think a child moving out on their own for the first time can easily be lured into the buy it now pay for it later fiasco. That can only end badly. I say buy it now, pay for it now. What’s the point of paying more for something due to interest, over saving and paying less up front. The only thing that keeps you from doing the better option is impulse and that’s a dangerous road to go down. I’ve seen many people end up with tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt because they had to have it now. I want my kids to avoid that.
- Savings!!! Chances are if you are just moving out on your own, you have no savings and that’s the first thing you need to concentrate on outside of your bills. Get paid, pay bills, put aside. This is something I wish I had followed so I would have a cushion. So it’s important for me to make sure my kids know the important of making sure to have a savings from the first job they have.
- Avoid student loans. When they go to college I want them to really look into all the options they have available. The first thing people think of to pay for college is student loans. I want my kids to avoid that debt if they can help it.
- Checkbook balancing. I am amazing at how many kids now days graduate high school with no knowledge of how to use a checkbook and the correct way to balance it. My kids will know the correct way to look at their finances and make sure they match up.
- Health care, car insurance, life insurance, etc. Because most kids have been on their parents policies this is something that doesn’t cross their mind. As their parent I want to make sure they know the ins and out and the importance of coverage. Budgeting for life insurance, car insurance, and health care is important. Thank goodness there are things out there to help me be able to teach them.
Whether I am teaching them to cook or helping them establish financial independence, I want to make sure I do my part to send my kids off prepared. That’s why, for me, it’s important to start now. Financial responsibility is something that will be with them for the rest of their life and it’s up to me to do my part to make sure they make right choices. What are some things you are doing right now to prepare you kids to be on their own??
**This post made possible by Genworth Financial. All thoughts are my own and always honest. For more on my policies please see my disclosure in the PR Friendly area.