Thursday, September 24, 2009
Raising "Controlled Consumers"
"Good money management is best learned at home by having the conversations I have with my kids," says Michelle Singletary, Washington Post Personal Finance Columnist, in an article on teaching kids about money.
If you're looking for an educational aide to teach them how to be a "controlled consumer", she recommends the series of books that she utilizes as a tool to help convey the right message about money. "The Millionaire Kids Club", written for children ages 3 to 12, are books which use stories about four friends, each with a different money personality. Sandy is a saver. Dennis likes to donate. Stephanie likes to spend, and Isaiah likes to invest.
In her article, Singletary warns that "advertisers, credit card issuers, and retailers are waging a war, and if they can get to your child early enough, they can do a lot of harm" by sending messages which may result in over consumption, overspending, and heavy debt load. Read Singletary's full article
Philip Heckman, director of youth programs at Credit Union National Association agrees, saying if parents don't step up and convey their own values about money, they are leaving it up to the advertisers to teach them. Listen to Heckman's radio interview
Talk to children about money and money management at every opportunity, as early as the preschool years. By asking children questions about money and noting their observations, you can help correct any misapprehensions they have about money, such as where money really comes from.