Talking about money matters with just about anyone can be tough, but putting that conversation into kid-friendly terms is an even bigger challenge. Sure, you know the importance of teaching your kids responsible money management habits early on, but are you actually doing it on a regular basis?
A recent survey shows that about three quarters of parents (73%) are regularly having these conversations with their young ones. Let’s take a closer look at the frequency and effectiveness of these family conversations, as well as a few lessons that we can learn from the statistics.
How often do parents talk about money with kids?
The same survey shows that an impressive 28% of parents talk about money matters with their children “very often.” Another 45% have these conversations “somewhat often,” while the rest breech the subject either “not very often” (22%) or almost never (5%).
Change the conversation: To make sure that you are having these conversations regularly, schedule a time each month to see if your kids have any questions about saving, spending and budgets.
When do family money conversations happen?
Studies show that family money conversations come up most frequently during back-to-school shopping trips. In fact, 62% of surveyed parents say they include their child in financial conversations about school shopping.
Change the conversation: For tips on getting the most out of talking to your kids about personal finance while combing the school supply shelves, check out 5 Personal Finance Lessons to Teach Your Kids While Back-to-School Shopping.
Encouragement doesn’t look the same to kids & parents
While 42% of parents “strongly agree” that they encourage their child to talk about money, just 19% of children felt the same way.
Change the conversation: Pay attention to non-verbal signals when you’re initiating these conversations with your child. What does your body language say? Also try to have the conversation in a place where you have the privacy and time to really listen – chatting in the car on the way to or from the store is a great start.
Do parents feel prepared for financial conversations?
Surveys show that 22% of parents feel “very prepared” to talk finance with their kids, and 57% feel “fairly well prepared.” Another 18% are afraid that they are “not very prepared” for these conversations.
Change the conversation: If you’re struggling to find a way to talk to your kids about money, brush up on the subject online. Check out our full series on families and money, and if you need to lay a few ground rules before getting started, skim through Mint’s “5 Rules When Teaching Kids About Money.”
Top financial advice parents have for kids
When asked about the most important financial advice parents plan to give their children, the most common answer by far was, “live within your means.”
Change the conversation: Special occasions are a great time to talk about the importance of sticking to a realistic budget. Next time you’re shopping for the holidays or planning for a vacation, get your kids involved and explain why you chose an affordable option rather than adding unnecessary bells and whistles.