Secure Your Child's Future

Selfless Journey of Motherhood

The Selfless Job of Motherhood: 
Supporting Your Child's Financial Future at Every Age
by VERGE Staff | Your Money | Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mothers make all kinds of sacrifices for their families, including financial sacrifices in order to help and protect their children, from covering countless childhood expenses to helping an older child during his or her own financial challenges. A mother’s willingness to make such financial sacrifices by reducing their own needs is one of the many ways in which they show their unwavering love and support. 

But there’s also another way mothers can demonstrate their love and support for their children. That is by instilling within them a strong sense of financial responsibility. 

The key is to begin teaching your child about money as early as possible. According to Dr. Maria Nemeth, a licensed clinical psychologist and nationally recognized author and financial seminar leader- our experiences with money begin at a very early age, which later shapes how we handle our personal finances as adults.    

Even if you’re a mother who has made serious financial mistakes in the past, you can still teach your child how to be savvy with money based on the lessons that you’ve learned during your financial recovery. 

Certified Financial Planner Eleanor Blayney who shares how mothers can improve their children's financial situation and their own at the same time in her latest Let’s Talk Planning blog says: 

"One of the greatest satisfactions of motherhood is having a child become a financially responsible adult who can stand on her own two feet. This means, paradoxically, asking moms to do more for their kids, in the way of financial education and empowerment, and less, in terms of sacrificing their own financial well-being for the sake of their children."  

Blaney sugggests the following tips for mothers to help their children gain knowledge about the basics of money management:

Advice for raising financially smart and prepared children of all ages

Preschoolers: Cultivate the early awareness of money by giving your 4 or 5 year old a small allowance. Explain that money has many uses, such as: for spending, saving, or giving. Reinforce this concept by designating three jars or piggy banks for these purposes.

Elementary school age and pre-teens: Open up a savings account for your child, making sure there are no account fees or minimum balances. Let your kids carry small amounts of cash so that they learn what things cost and master the mathematics of transactions.

Teenagers: Provide an allowance for personal items and teach teens to use a budget to manage these funds. If appropriate, it's a great time to set up a Roth IRA as a first lesson in long-term, retirement savings.

College students and young adults: Introduce your children to your financial advisor and accountant, and ask these professionals to spend an hour or so providing some basic counsel on investing, money management, and taxes. Get your college-bound child fully engaged with the finances of higher education, including creating a contract with your child for expenses you will be financing, outlining their expectations and any repayment terms.

Teaching your children as early as possible about the concept and benefits of saving money can be a demonstration of your love and support that will last them a lifetime. Of course, you’ll also increase their chances of being financially independent and financially responsible adults who make wise decisions about how they spend their money.   

"Taking action on any one of these approaches to teaching children about finances – let alone trying them at every age – involves a lot of effort and patience from already busy moms," says Blayney. "But the benefits of financial literacy and careful planning help position both mother and child for long-term financial success."


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