In a recent Money Memories interview I was asked about my childhood. Being an early Baby Boomer, my childhood is almost incomprehensible to today’s teens. Imagine my surprise when the Teen and Young Adult Financial Panel gave their take-aways from my interview.
Their responses confirmed my belief that money management skill transcends generations. Their insightful take-aways affirmed my belief about money conversations.
Generations can talk about money and learn from each other’s experiences. After all I am in the grandparent category. Yet my experience gave them some takeaways that may help them in their futures.
When kids have their own money, control of their decisions, and spending responsibilities they are experiencing decision-making on a kid-size scale. My approach as explained in my book, The No-Cash Allowance, is to teach kids to manage money as a number. Understanding one’s total financial resources represented as a number is an essential element to making wise financial decisions.
Generations can share money sense
The older generations in their families have gone before and can share their wisdom and offer guidance without making decisions for their kids. In casual conversations, parents can tell kids about their crazy decisions as they commiserate with their kid’s spending mistake. Grandparents can talk about the days when they didn’t have a credit card and had to walk into a bank to get cash. Imagine that?
Money management is at its core nothing more than making decisions. Learning that each money decision affects one’s bottom line and future decisions is a life lesson for everyone. While the technology will continue to change, learning to manage money as a number is an essential skill.
It’s encouraging to see that today’s teens are paying attention. Let’s all keep the conversation going. The more your kids understand about money decisions, the more confident and successful they will be in their financial future.