Financial conversations to have with your children

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A new survey found parents are using the pandemic as an opportunity to talk with their kids about money and there’s no time to waste. One study found kids’ money habits are formed by age seven.

Barry Bigelow from Great Waters Financial says, "the first thing you want to do is help your kid understand how to budget. A simple way that you can do that is take them to the grocery store and give them a set dollar amount and have them help you shop and compare prices to get the most that they can out of it, and you want to teach to save and give the people who have a big impact on their community are the people who are able to save for themselves and give back so make sure that they understand the value of saving so that they’re future is secure and giving back to their community to make sure that they’re being a good steward with the gifts that they’ve been given."

This is also a good age to explain a budget and help your kids really understand the importance of having one and sticking to it. Bigelow says to use your own household as an example. Explain the different kinds of bills you have to pay and the consequences of not paying them.

Give them an allowance. Bigelow says as children get a little older, you can give them their own job at home, like setting the table or helping dry the dishes. Each time they do their chore, you pay them a small amount for a job well done.

Let them see you make a good financial decision and also explain that mistakes happen. Don’t place too many restrictions on what they can buy. If your child cannot find something they really want, this would be a good time to encourage saving the money for later.