It doesn't matter whether our children are infants, students, or out of the nest, we never stop worrying about them. Some of our concerns may change, others may fade and still others may develop as our children grow up, but we always worry about raising our kids to be financially independent.
I want to know what kids and money topic is on your mind. What keeps you tossing and turning at night? If you tell me, I can help you.
When your kids aren't even walking or talking, are you worrying about getting them into the best preschool and how you're going to pay for it? Are you thinking about moving so you will be in the best possible school district for public schooling?
After your kids begin talking are you struggling with the endless repetition of "I want. I want." every time you go shopping with them? Do you feel that acquiescing to their demands is easier than listening to the whining and the tantrums? I know how embarrassing supermarket theatrics can be. Your first instinct is probably to let them have that candy or toy, or anything that will quickly bring down the curtain on your kid's performance -- you also know that the other patrons in the checkout line will be most appreciative.
Ensuring that our kids grow up to be financially literate is a universal concern of parents. Even 85 percent of college grads return to the nest to live for some time after graduation. How can you help your child to learn to be money savvy and assure their independence? The path to financial responsibility begins with the budget. Does the word budget make you wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat? It's easy if you start your kids on an allowance and budget at an early age.
We all have our own special relationship with money; in general, we are either a spender or a saver. Whichever we are, that attitude toward money is going to influence the way we raise our children to think about money. Do you know your own financial personality type? Do you know the financial personality of your child? Are you worried that your kid is going to turn out to be a shopaholic or a modern day Scrooge? Do you have the skills to raise your kid to be the ideal type -- middle of the road?
Are you struggling with teaching your kids the concept of charity and the importance of giving back to the community? Are you teaching by example and using the world as your classroom?
You want your children to grow up to be more money savvy. But, since only 16 states require students to be tested on economics, and only four states require high school graduates to complete a one semester course in personal finance, the responsibility falls on you, the parents. In fact, 81 percent of parents recognize their responsibility -- two in five American adults gave themselves a failing grade on their own knowledge of personal finance.
The list of money topics that can give you pause is long, but you can do more than just worry. Contact me and we can begin a dialogue. I will address your (anonymous) issues in future blogs. If there's something on your mind, know there are other parents with the same concerns.
Email me directly or tweet me with the subject/hashtag #askNeale. Have a cup of warm milk or your favorite elixir, and get some sleep.