Trilliums in Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario




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.

Administering 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 and earnings.

• 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



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