We all want it. Financial security. We also want our kids to be financially independent when they leave the nest. As parents, we ask ourselves –
When I went off to college, I had no idea that people (big companies out there) wanted me to pay (on time) every month. You mean, I have to pay my bills first, and THEN buy food and clothes and have money to play with? Good grief.
Are we setting up our kids for success? In a USA Today study “Families Divided Over Personal Finance Decisions,” Cameron Saucier reported that most parents aren’t talking to their adult kids about their retirement plans, or any money matters. Saucier sites a Fidelity Investment study finding that “64% of parents and children can’t agree on when to have conversations about financial preparedness.” Why not? Why do parents have a general fear of discussing the hard stuff with their kids – young or old?
Do we want them to be naïve, or do we want them to be prepared?
Time featured an article recently discussing tips on how parents can prepare their kids for financial independence. In “The Secret to Raising Financially Independent Kids,” Chris Taylor gives some solid pointers on how to open the money discussion with your kids.
But we wanted more!
We sat down and talked with one of our own students, Jordan Williams, a rising junior at Greater Atlanta Christian School. Just a teenager, you say? No way! Jordan and his friend Brandon Iverson are “teenpreneurs.” Featured in the June 2014 issue of Essence magazine for their early financial chops, the duo co-founded Making Money for Teens, a company helping teenagers understand financial business.
Jordan gives his dad all the credit; “Most of the info I give to teens is stuff I got from my dad over the years. I sat in many of his business meetings when I was younger and I soaked it all up.” In Making Money for Teens, Jordan and Brandon translate adult-speak into easy-to-understand info about finance for kids and teens.
What do teens want to hear?
Jordan says early on, he knew he wanted to be his own boss and to have a job that he was passionate about. “Rather than buying everything for me, my parents challenged me to come up with creative ways to get what I wanted on my own. How could I make money and save money to get the shoes I wanted?”
Jordan’s Tips to Parents:
- Financial education is one of the most important things a parent can teach a teenager. Lack of financial education is the main cause of college students and young adults getting into debt trouble once they venture out on their own. Money management is necessary in order for teens to make good choices concerning finances.
- Don’t wait! Most parents wait too long to introduce their teens to financial topics.
- Split it into categories. When teens start becoming independent, parents should be diligent in making sure their teens are organizing their money correctly instead of always spending it. Designate some for giving, some to spend, some to save.
- Start giving your kids an allowance and teach them about budgeting. These habits are good at any age.
- Allow your kids to dream big. If your kids have crazy entrepreneurial ideas, give them room to run with it. Whether it’s a lemonade stand or a clothing line, support them and encourage them to emphasize appropriate morals and ethics.
Jordan's entrepreneurial outlook is encouraged at Greater Atlanta Christian School. Do you want your child to have similar opportunities to explore the interests that make them unique?
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photo credits: peddhapati via photopin cc and Young Moguls Brand