Katie's Take

Teaching Your Kids About Money

Katie Couric
Katie's Take

Katie's Take

At what age should you start to teach your kids about money and personal finance?

The truth is, it's never too early.  These are critical skills that we all need, but they aren't a part of the curriculum at most schools which is why it is important for parents to instill good habits in their kids at home.

Learnvest.com CEO Alexa Von Tobel suggests starting a dialogue about family finances as early as the age of six.  One of the best ways to facilitate hands on experience with money is by giving their kids a small allowance and encouraging them to save a portion of it every time. She also recommends being open about the cost of household expenses such as dinner, groceries and vacations to give their children a good sense of real world prices. A savings account is also a great learning tool for kids. In fact, studies have shown that kids with who had savings accounts growing up are more likely to go to college than those who didn't. Von Tobel also encourages all parents to start a credit card in their child's name. By making small purchases on their card and paying them off immediately, you help to establish and build your child's credit before they finish high school.

Creating incentives and health financial habits early in life will pay off in the long run for your children.  If there's a new game, toy or outfit your kids want, have them save up money for it instead of just buying it right away for them.  The delayed gratification makes the new item all that more fulfilling and meaningful, and it creates the foundation for a lifetime of better financial choices.

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