Recently, I was asked to appear on Fox2 to discuss Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility. April is National Financial Literacy month so I wanted to expand on some of the points in that article. The folks at Lenox Advisors sent over some age-specific tips to help kids become more financially aware courtesy of Tom Henske, the founder of the Money Smart Kids Program™.
Henske says it’s important to focus on four pillars: (1) Saving (2) Spending (3) Donating (4) Investing, and provides the following age-friendly tips on how to teach children financial responsibility:
- Ages 1-4: Let children handle money, bills and coins, to become familiar with their look and feel. Give them a piggy bank to start saving.
- Ages 5-8: Get a library card for your child. It’s their first “credit card.” Start an allowance.
- Ages 9-12: Give child responsibility (and resources) to pay for some household expenses.
- Ages 13-15: Let children invest toward a vacation goal. Nature of the vacation (i.e. hotel vs. camping) could be tied to their success.
- Ages 16-18: Research various professions and determine those lifestyle budgets.
With his clients and their concerns in mind Tom developed a revolutionary program, Money-Smart Kids™. Money-Smart Kids provides tools and information to foster independence, good judgment and responsible habits in children. The program helps to instill in children a sense that having money is not a right, but a privilege. And, like all privileges, it needs to be honored and protected. The program is age based. No matter where children are in their development, Lenox has gifts, tips, recommendations, resources, books and DVD’s specifically addressing age appropriate issues.