Kids are expensive and money management is difficult! Pre-baby we are warned about this, but nothing prepares you. To make matters worse, children get more expensive with age! In the beginning, parents complain about the expense of diapers and formula. Little do these new parents know that it is only the beginning! School-aged children in Colorado often need a whole new wardrobe EVERY SEASON of EVERY YEAR! Don’t even get me started on how teenagers will eat you out of house and home! They also “need” a smartphone or want a car…. I feel overwhelmed by just writing this! Not to mention, COLLEGE! Ugh. It is looming over parents’ heads like a grey cloud! AHHHHH!
We want the best for our children, but the financial responsibility to provide for them can be over overwhelming. In addition to our financial awareness, we should also be teaching our school-aged children about money management. Yep, that is up to YOU. Many schools teach how to count money, but money management education comes best with practice and experience. That means that the best “money smarts” comes from home. At 18, your child will be old enough to apply for a credit card. If you don’t teach money management before you send them off to college, you could be setting them up for failure and significant debt. As parents, we are trying to grow independent, responsible adults! Yet, money management teachings often get forgotten. In my opinion, you can’t start your child too early in these lessons. The more practice your child has, the more comfortable they will be with money, and the more likely you are setting them up for success! Imagine your child graduating from college with thousands of dollars in student loan debt AND credit card debt. Yikes! Unless you want them to live at home and eat your meatloaf for many more years to come, it is best to teach these skills now.
This week on the Bigger Impact, I interview financial advisor Amber Schoenrock. Amber has taught hundreds of people fundamental financial concepts and has actively worked with families to start their journey towards financial freedom. In the Bigger Impact, I ask Amber to describe the biggest money mistakes people make when going into college and leaving home. I also ask her for tips that parents can use to teach money management. And lastly, I ask Amber what parents can do to set their kids up for college financially (even on a small budget).