6 Fatherhood Tips for Parenting Money-Smart Kids

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Publication Date
April 28, 2014

Many kids think that dads know everything. That means dads have to be prepared to tutor their kids on almost any topic, including the really tough ones like money.

When it comes to money, you don’t need to have an advanced Business degree from college to offer children good advice. Here is a list of things dads can say and resources that can help dads raise more money-smart children.

1. Managing money is about being aware and responsible.
Teaching your kids about money management is about offering them a healthy money awareness. Much of the work in creating awareness can be done with the conversations you have while performing routine family activities.

One recommendation for creating this awareness comes from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Consumer News.  They suggest fathers can “take your child along on shopping trips and discuss what makes some items "too expensive" and others "good buys."’

2. The best way to make the most of your money is to have a plan.

It’s always a good idea to have a plan and this is especially true for your money.  With a plan, you can figure out expenditures and purchases need to come first as well as how to spread out payments for different times and seasons.  Parents, including dads, have several resources for teaching the value and process of coming up with a spending and saving plan.

Some of these include:

3. Smart saving requires strategy.
When you’re talking about planning, as kids grow older they need to know that saving is not just about putting money away into a sock. There are several ways to save that can help kids see that where they put their money is just as important as how much they put away.

In fact, in the FDIC’s article For Parents: Teaching Children the Financial Facts of Life, they advise, “Young kids will enjoy saving money in piggy banks, but at around age eight, think about helping them open a small savings account. That way they also begin learning what banking is all about.”

4. It’s always good to get professional help.
The FDIC’s Success Stories and Tips for Teaching Kids About Money advises, “One way to keep students interested during financial education classes is to invite outside ’experts,’ such as staff from local banks, to make presentations.”

Whether through a class or a trip to your local bank, introduce your children to the various professionals that can help them get and stay money smart.

Knowing where to go about money questions or issues is just as important as understanding money itself.

5. It’s good to both get and give money.
Money management lessons shouldn’t be all about getting. These conversations are great opportunities to communicate the power of giving as well.

"People who give generously of their time and their money get tremendous amounts of satisfaction in return," said Liz Kelderhouse, an FDIC Community Affairs Officer in Consumer News. "You'll feel great knowing you're making a difference, and you'll have a better appreciation of what you're fortunate enough to have."

6. Walk the talk.
According to the FDIC’s For Parents: Teaching Children the Financial Facts of Life, “If you expect your kids to become responsible with their money — and yours — practice what you preach. Serve as a good example of what it means to save, spend wisely and share with others. You'll make more of an impression on your children if they can see and hear what you're doing to manage your money.”

Show and tell is a powerful concept when you are teaching children important life concepts and skills like money management.

According to the Office of Head Start, “It’s important to talk with your children because they can sense stress and become anxious or upset if no one communicates with them.” Head off future stress for children. Start educating kids on money matters today.

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse