Monday, October 7, 2013

It is Never Too Early to Learn About Creating Financial Freedom

financial freedom
Financial freedom is something we preach here all the time. When you are flooded with bills and have a bunch of high interest credit cards to pay off, there is simply no way to get ahead of the game. As you all know, I was in this very position and only after taking advantage of a work-from-home opportunity was I able to dig myself out of this hole and create the financial freedom I enjoy today.

My story is great, but what good does the financial freedom I provide for my family do if my children do not learn how to appreciate what we have. Furthermore, they need to learn how to budget their money and live a life that will provide them with the same financial freedom we currently enjoy. We have two options in either letting the children learn about it on their own or to teach them what we know and involve them in financial decisions early on.

I know, this sounds absurd at first glance, but in no way am I suggesting the kids decide where the household money is going to be spent. Instead, what I am suggesting is that you teach them early on how to manage money and why money is being spent where it is.

What do you tell your kids when they ask for something? Are you telling them the truth or just telling them you do not have enough money for that right now? Worse, are you spending money you do not have simply to make them happy? Lying and taking money from needed areas of the budget is not the answer.

By involving your children in the household finances, you are teaching them a true lesson in how to manage their money. When they see how much money is coming in, where it is already earmarked, and how much is left over, they will appreciate why they cannot have that new train set or why the family is taking day trips to the shore instead of extravagant Disney vacations.

In addition to the family budget, help them establish their own budget and financial goals. If they have an allowance or a part time job, have them sit down with you and account for the spending of the money. You may be surprised at how often the child decides that saving the money is a much better idea than converting their dollars into tokens to spend at the local arcade.

It is no secret that our economy is in a complete shambles. Our own government shut down because our leaders cannot agree on anything. How can we trust anyone to teach our children how to fun their finances when the leaders of the country cannot agree? Do not keep your kids in the dark. Bring them into family financial decisions and give them a head start on creating their own financial freedom.

*Photo Courtesy of Drew Coffman via Creative Commons License

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