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Teaching Your Children Well: Basic Financial Education

Todd Sheets

By: Todd Sheets, Financial Advisor

When I was in school, classes on basic financial education, how to save or how to build credit were not taught. Sadly, that has not changed. Everything I learned in this area came from my parents or on my own—and that responsibility still falls on parents. While financial education is not taught alongside history, math, and science, it is one of the most important lessons you can teach your children or grandchildren. Now that I am a father myself, I plan to use my parent’s lessons to pass these skills along to my daughter. While she is only 20 months old, I know these skills will help prepare her for a happy, secure life as she grows older.

Even before children can count, they already know something about money: it’s what you give the ice cream man to get a cone, or put in the slot to ride the rocket ship at the grocery store. So as soon as children begin handling money, we should teach them to handle it wisely.

Giving an allowance is a good way to begin teaching kids to save money and budget. How much you give them depends in part on what expenses you expect them to be responsible for and how much you want them to save.

Consider three tips when giving children allowances:

  • Set parameters. Discuss with your children what they may use the money for and how much should be saved.
  • Make allowance day a routine, like payday. Give the same amount on the same day each week.
  • Consider "raises" for children who manage money well, or as needs change over time. Reinforce positive behavior to make saving part of their routine.

The lessons you teach may get passed down to future generations—just as the lessons I learned years ago are now being passed to my daughter. Let your child or grandchildren learn to save the money needed to pay for that ice cream cone—the steps you take today can leave an impact for years to come.

We invite you to invest in your child’s future by teaching them the value of money through a new initiative—Busey's MoneySmart Youth. The online program provides the resources you need to teach children ages 5 to 10 the importance of money—how it’s used, earned, saved and taxed. Click here for more details within the Busey Resource Center on busey.com.

Todd Sheets can be reached by email or by phone at 217.365.4844.

 

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This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Busey Investment Services and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources conserved to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.

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