Preparing Your Kids For Financial Independence

Parents teaching kids about money management

Continuing to support your adult kids can be a real savings killer.

It’s hard sometimes to tell our children no, but we’re really doing them a disservice when we just rescue them from their financial mistakes or hardships.

The best thing we can do as parents is to teach them how to be financially independent.

You may not feel like you are qualified to teach them about money management if you have struggled with making good financial decisions in the past.

Don’t sell yourself short.  You know more than they do, so teach them what you know.  Then teach them what you’ve learned from your own mistakes.  You have knowledge that they need to not make the same mistakes you’ve made.

In addition to the value of your own personal experience, here are a few more ideas to help teach your kids to be financially independent.

Ways to help your kids be financially independent

  • give them an allowance
  • make them get a job
  • instill in them a good work ethic
  • make them pay for discretionary purchases
  • give them chores
  • when they turn 18, have them pay for their cell phone and other luxuries
  • have them pay for their car insurance
  • teach them to budget & track their spending
  • teach them to give to the church and other charities
  • have them open a savings account
  • have them set financial goals
  • model wise money management to them
  • talk about money openly with them
  • let them experience the consequences of poor money choices (without saving them!)
  • have them practice delayed gratification
  • have them take an online course (link here to free courses post)
  • show them how you do your taxes
  • talk to them about debt and the dangers of it
  • teach them about investing principles and compound interest
  • teach them what frugality is
  • show them how you balance your checking account
  • show them the difference between price and cost per unit
  • explain all of the costs that go into housing expenses
  • encourage them to buy used when they can – clothes at Goodwill, an older car, furniture from Craigslist
  • teach them how to bargain, and how to walk away if necessary
  • go over the payroll taxes on their paychecks
  • have them help you set a grocery budget, then take them grocery shopping
  • teach them about stocks and bonds (if you don’t know either, learn!)
  • show them how they can automate their savings and their bill payments
  • print out your credit score sheet and go over it with them; explain the importance of a good credit score
  • inspire them with success stories you’ve heard about (and if you don’t know of any, find some!)
  • instill in them an abundance mindset, and explain the consequences of a scarcity mindset

This is a long list, but I know there are many other ideas I could add to it!

Start teaching them today

You are the best person to teach your children these skills early on in their lives.  Don’t wait until they’re out of the house and suffering from the consequences of poor financial decisions.

Make wise money management a part of your parenting approach.  The money skills you teach your kids will help them for their entire lives, and potentially keep them from falling into financial ruin.

And leave any guilt outside the door.  There is no perfect parent and we all mess up, but that shouldn’t be the focus.  What you do now is what matters.

If you’ve never talked to your kids about money, close your laptop and go have a good discussion with them now.  You don’t have to start with all the answers, just get started!

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