Four simple financial tips to share with your children
Right out of college, I went to work for an organization that provided consulting and income tax preparation services to farm families. A few years later, I came to work for TS Bank, spending several years working as a loan officer. Now, I am part of the TS Prosperity Group, where we work with clients in the areas of estates, trusts, investments and more.
My point is that I have spent my entire career working in the financial services industry. With that in mind, you would think that I was able to teach my children about money, right? Well, I wasn’t so sure.
I would definitely make attempts to give my kids what I thought were words of wisdom about all things financial. But you could see the glazed look in their eyes. The vast majority of the time, it seemed like they just weren’t listening - Dad was boring!
One of the reasons I felt so strongly about trying to teach my kids about money and finances was because I didn’t feel they were getting this important information anywhere else. I used to say “kids graduate from high school knowing all kinds of things, but they don’t know how to write a check.” (Yes, I know, people don’t write very many checks anymore!)
But things have changed. Non-profits are teaming up with local school making it their goal to provide extra curriculum to create a stronger, more financially savvy, future generation. For example the TS Institute, based here in Council Bluffs, provides a K-12 financial literacy program, going way beyond teaching young people how to fill out a check!
However, if your child doesn’t happen to have one of these programs in their school, here are four things that you can do to instill good financial habits:
- Set a good example: How can we expect our kids to handle financial matters well if we don’t do so ourselves? Be a role model for them!
- Let them make mistakes: Naturally, you don’t want some major fiasco to occur that will burden them for years to come, but by letting your kids make some small mistakes, they will learn from the experience.
- Teach them about debt: Not all debt is bad, but you can counsel your children on the risks associated with borrowing money, the proper use of debt, how leverage works, etc.
- Use stories, or real life examples: If you tell your kids about how something worked really well, or how something went really wrong, for “someone you know”, it has more of an impact on them.
And, here’s the surprising part, my kids may have actually been listening to me all of those years. What a heart-warming thought! Recently, I noticed that all three of my kids (now adults) made it a point to discuss some financial matter with me that they were making decisions on:
- One was contemplating buying a house. She was considering all sorts of things, such as the amount of down payment needed, what the interest rate would be, should she wait, etc.
- Another daughter is married and they just had their first baby a few months ago. All of a sudden, she and her husband are looking into life insurance, seeing what options are available, and making decisions as to what is most appropriate for their situation.
- And my third daughter dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, wanting to create and run her own business. But she has already decided that she needs to work for someone else first to gain some experience. She knows that she will need to accumulate some savings in order to fund the startup of a new enterprise.
We all hope that our kids do better than we did, and that they make good, intelligent decisions about money and other financial matters. Believe it or not, your kids will appreciate your guidance. Maybe not right away but, ultimately, they will.
At some point, your children may need or want to talk to someone other than their parents about money matters. We hope that you will consider suggesting TS Bank and the TS Prosperity Group to them, as trusted sources for all things financial. We take that role very seriously.
At TS Prosperity Group, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Prosperity Group. TS Prosperity Group is based in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with clients across the midwest. For more information visit tsprosperitygroup.com or call 844-487-3115. #igniteprosperity
Rich Purdy, CFP®
Fiduciary Officer, VP
Rich has been with TS Bank since 1984, and currently serves as a Fiduciary Officer with TS Prosperity Group. Rich works with clients in all areas of wealth management and financial planning. Rich obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in July of 2000. He also provides farm management services to TS Prosperity Group clients, and is a licensed real estate broker. Rich grew up on a farm in southwest Iowa. He is a graduate of Iowa State University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business. His work experience includes seven years as a Consultant with the Southwest Iowa Farm Business Association, 30 years as a licensed real estate agent/broker and 32 years of banking.