If not you...then who??

I have read a lot of posts, articles, and comments plus plenty of news stories blaming today's schools for not teaching kids enough about money. The term "kids" has been used to describe college students and elementary school children, this is a pretty big range. I think a fully functioning college student should be able to teach him or herself about money if they really wanted to learn. But that's besides the point.

There are so many differing schools of thought on money, investing, saving, and retirement, that I think it would be impossible to please all parents in regards to this subject. If a school teaches children to be entrepreneurial, take chances, go for broke...then conservative parents would have a fit. If a school teaches a more conservative style, max out 401K, full fund a ROTH IRA, limit consumer debt, invest in index funds...then the more aggressive parents will run to the school and toilet paper the whole front lawn. How would you feel if you thought investing in carefully selected, individual stocks with high growth potential was the only way to beat inflation and get better than average returns, but your child's teacher has them investing all of their money in index funds and just riding out the markets highs and lows? You would jump in and correct the teacher or show your child the different avenues available. Why even involve the school, this is your chance to make a big difference in your baby's life.

As I told you, we are building a savings account for the mcnugget, which we plan on telling her about when she gets older. $1,000 should be a good starting point for her. I'll show her what it started from ($0), and we only put in $5 every 2 weeks, now it's $1,000 plus interest. I'll show her how to make deposits and watch the money continue to grow. Even if she doesn't want to make a deposit, I'll show her how the interest she's getting is earning interest and making her money, if she adds money it will make even more. Compound interest lesson accomplished. Just a small step to try and teach her a valuable lesson, and it really is only costing me $10/month. I don't want her having any false sense of entitlement though, so I won't let her actually use the money until she's ready.

I think personal finance is one of the "life-lessons" that parents should tackle with their children. Along the same lines as personal hygiene (there some smelly kids out there who missed this lesson), work ethic, and sex (which my little piglet will never make her daddy go through so we won't even get into that). Even if you don't know what your doing, take the time to learn with you children. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know, let's go to the library", and figure it out together. No college course or elementary school is going to tell your children that maxing out credit cards is bad, it can ruin your credit and it will take you years to fix the mess you get yourself into (not that I would know about this, but I heard....). I want my baby to know what she's doing with her money and how she is going to do it. I don't want her depending on anyone to tell her what to pay and what she should invest. I've seen too many talk shows and read too many horror stories where women let "the man" take care of all the finances for the house, they don;t know how or when the bills are paid or where their money is going. Then he passes away or moves on without her (usually with a young mistress of some kind), and shes left wondering what to do and how she got stuck with $10,000 in bills. I don't ever want my daughter going through that. The piglet will be empowered dammit, cause daddy said so.

Take responsibility for your children and lead by example. If your child wants to buy something, don't just run out and get it, tell them to save their allowance or even do a "dollar match" where you give them $1 for every $1 they save. After saving for 2 weeks they may not want that doll anymore, this teaches them to think before they make any purchase, teaches them to save, and gets them ready for compound interest and match contributions lessons in the future. When you want to make a big purchase, include them. Tell them that you have to buy a new couch so "mommy and daddy are going to save x amount of dollars for 4 weeks instead of using a credit card." If you ever have to dip into your emergency fund, tell them about it, "it's a good thing mommy and daddy save some money or we'd be in big trouble." If you ever get caught having to use a credit card, "we have to pay these people back when the bill comes or then we have to give them extra money". It sounds silly, but my baby is only 1, I'm guessing we can have more intellectual dialogue when she gets a little older.

This is not always easy to do, but it also holds you accountable for your actions. Don't blame schools and the system for something you should be doing. By the time your child gets to college, they should be able to make informed decisions. Hopefully you taught them well enough so they make the right ones. If they don't, they only have themselves to blame, and not the system.

Thanks for reading

I Love you Baby


  1. Moneymonk said...

    The younger they are, the better it is to start. The more they will have in the future. Also when they start working you can match dollar for dollar whatever they save.  

  2. Rad said...

    Thats good thinking Money. I will definitely keep the match when she starts working. We started saving for her befoer she was born, we knew we couldn't afford much, so the earlier the better.

    I'm sure you guyshave already started too, before you know it your little one will be here.  

  3. Efrain said...

    Nice read. I Linked here from MoneyMonk's blog.

    While reading, I was wondering if you were going to mention how old your daughter is, because I've got a little girl too and I also happen to be 28yrs old. However, my daughter is 4yrs old today.

    At what age do you plan on teaching her about money? If it's at a real young age, what methods are you thinking of? Just curious. It's something I'm contemplating right now.

    Keep on keeping on.  

  4. Rad said...

    My baby girl just hit the 13 month mark. Congrats on your baby girl man. I'm not sure what age to start actually. I guess we'll start when she starts to actually ask for things verbally. Like if we're at Toy R' Us and she wants a barbie or something, I'll try to start there. I might give her like a dollar a week and tell her to save it until she has enough for the doll. Then if she still decides to get the doll I might keep her in the saving mood by tellinh her I'll give her $0.50 for every $1 she saves. I just don;t want her to be impulsive and feel like she's entitled to everything.

    Of course, you know us dads and daddies little girls, so I'll probably buy her the toy and spoil her more times than try to teach the lesson. It's the effort that counts :) 4 or 5 years old sounds about right.

    Let me know what you decide to try and if it works.

    Thanks for the comment man.  

  5. Colonel Cash said...

    Teaching our kids about money couldn't me any more important! As I posted on moneyandcredit.blogspot.com , not only are they our children, but they are our financial future! Lot's of good sites out there, even some curriculm for teaching kids about money and credt.  

  6. Rad said...

    I agree, they are our financial future. We don't want our kids depending on you when they are older, everyone wants to raise independant children who can take care of themselves. I will always be there for my daughter in case of emergency, but by no means will I be a financial crutch for her to lean on at every moment. She will always be my piglet, but I want her to be her own woman, mentally and financially.

    I'll have to look into those curriculums, I didn't know about those. Thanks for the comment.  

  7. ms. whatsit said...

    When our boys were old enough to do chores for an allowance (about five for the older one, and of course about the same time for the younger one), we opened up savings accounts. Half their allowance went into the accounts. During early adolescence, they grumbled, but when they got their driver's licenses, they had enough to buy cars. Having that purchasing power rush motivated them to find jobs, so as far as money goes, the savings lessons we built when they were wee really paid off.

    We also talked freely with them about how we were saving for their college years. My older one starts in the fall. He wants to study business, and I feel confident that he'll do just fine.  

  8. Rad said...

    That's the same end result I was hoping for. Thanks for the positive reinforcement :) I'm glad your boys turned out so wise, good job ms. whatsit. Hopefully my piglet wil learn the same lessons and use her powers for good, not Prada (not thats theres anything wrong with some nice shoes) :)

    Thanks for the comment  

  9. Husbandhood said...

    This is a great and important article.

    In my opinion, schools should be teaching kids about money. Of course parents have the responsibility as well but why dont kids learn anything practical in college. They dont know how to do anything.

    Kids should know about savings, retirement, taxes and so on. Personal finance should be a mandatory topic in schools.  

  10. Husbandhood said...

    I was just thinking after reading your post again that you should take the second last paragraph starting with "Take responsibility for your children..." and create another post from it. "How to" posts are great. It could be specific to this paragraph.  

  11. Rad said...


    While I don't think the classes should be mandatory, I think they should be offered at all schools. Some schools don't even offer the classes today. That was part of the reason I said it falls on the parent. If the schools don't offer what you want, be proactive and teach them yourself, also try to get in touch with the schoolboard. By the time they get to college, the kids should know all of the basics of saving, retirement, etc. This way college courses can add on to the foundation you as a parent helped to build.

    I'll see what I can do about that seprate post thing. Might help me on a day when I have nothing to write about :) Thanks for the tip, I gotta check out your site.  

  12. bills said...

    I agree with the author that the parents should take responsibility for teaching their kids about
    debt and money savings rather than pawning it off on the schools.  

  13. Frank Polenose said...

    Parents should definitely teach their children about the value of money so they don't need help with debt in the the future. Although there are avenues to get debt help and debt advice its best to tackly the issues before they get to this stage.  

  14. Tyler Erickson said...

    This is amazing information and definately useful. Parents should teach their kids thoroughly on debt is never a good thing.  

  15. Instant cash said...

    Parents can themselves act at teachers to teach kids about money. With this they will let the kids to be responsible about money which will be a great help for their future.  

  16. Cash payday loan said...

    Self discipline and money management skill is really help to save money .Money plays a dominant role in our life so save as much as you can.  

  17. Payday loan said...

    You have explained well how to explain children about money.  

  18. Instant cash loans said...

    Yeah I absolutely agree with you personal finance is one of the life-lessons that parents should tackle with their children. Proper financial planning is very essential for happy life.  

  19. Debt Consolidation said...

    Nice buddy thanks  


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