Credit Counseling with
the Sudbury Community Service Centre
Teaching Your Kids About Money
Financial values are a direct reflection of the personal values we
gain from our life experience. They are shaped by feelings and
attitudes that family members have toward money and social status.
Skills and wisdom in managing money are developed as a child and are
based on a combination of parents as a model, peer group attitudes
and individual personalities.
Many children, in their innocence, believe in the proverbial “money
tree” with an endless supply of cash. By about age eight however,
they can comprehend and logically think about money. This may be
good age to consider a weekly allowance.
• Talk about the differences between an allowance versus constant
hand-outs. These are not beneficial to your child.
• Let your children decide how to spend their allowances. Don’t
criticize their choices. Realize that they will learn from their
mistakes and be supportive of them during the learning process.
• Never withhold the allowance as punishment. If denied, it will be
difficult for your child to plan spending and this destroys early
attempts at budgeting.
• Encourage your children to open a savings account, preferably one
with a passbook so that your child can track his/her spending habits
• Base the allowance and its frequency on what your family budget
can afford, not on what other children receive. A discussion of
priorities for your family may be in order to justify this point.
Teens and Spending
When dealing with teenagers, support their attempts at independence
by allowing them to make more of their own decisions. A parent can
help by giving teens greater responsibility in planning their
personal needs and by including them in family financial
discussions. Encourage them to set up a simple monthly budget,
considering income and expenses, and reviewing it occasionally with
them to avoid difficulties. Even teenagers need the experience of
savings towards a goal to learn how to portion out their money.
While you and your teenager may not share the same tastes in
clothing styles, your input on care, best buys, and brand names will
help them become wiser consumers. Encourage ways for your teen to
earn extra money such as a part time job or baby sitting. In time,
the allowance can be gradually reduced.
Remember, budgeting is not always taught in school. Learning money
management skills in the home will provide your children with a
sound basis for making realistic financial decisions throughout
their adult lives.
For more information call the Sudbury Community Service Centre at
(705) 560-0430 or at 1-800-685-1521