But Daddy…can’t you just buy it for me?”

Sound familiar?

Being a Dad is a title that encompasses many roles.  As a father, you are a teacher, a counselor, cheerleader, best friend and more.  Oftentimes, you are the first in line for teaching healthy financial habits.   

It is important to talk to your kids about money, no matter the age, so they have a solid foundation as they become adults.  There are three main topics you should be discussing.  

Savings

The first step to raising financial savvy children is to be the example.  Kids come to the bank with you and see you taking out money or paying for groceries, but they don’t necessarily understand how savings work.  You can teach your children about savings by:

  • Giving them an allowance – which will show them the value or earning their money
  • Matching whatever they save – teaching them the value or long term savings accounts and the reward of buying something they always wanted (Like how you felt when you bought that flat screen for your man cave!)
  • Sitting with them and making a mini budget – this will teach them to delegate their income, even if at the beginning it is just dedicating $1 here or 25 cents there.

Spending

More often than not, the minute your child gets money in their hands it is gone as soon as it comes.  Teaching them healthy spending habits early can prevent them from over-spending or over-borrowing later in life.

  • Teach them the difference between small purchases like gum or a big purchase like a new toy
  • When a child is 6 years or older, start explaining to them about coupons, buying in bulk, sales and other smart spending habits
  • Start giving them a small amount of money while shopping and have them make choices about what they should buy 

Giving

While there are many ways your children can get involved in charitable giving, it is important to show them their money can go towards helping people as well.  Encouraging them to give back will get them more involved in their communities at a young age.

  • Find out which charity will best fit their interest
  • Get them involved in a charitable activity where they can see what their investment did – like buying a toy and then having them distribute it to sick children in a hospital
  • Talk to them about your favorite charities and the importance of giving back

Feeling overwhelmed?

At Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan, we want to help Dad and the rest of the family build healthy financial habits.  If you need advice on what direction to go in or are ready to open an account for your son or daughter, we are here. We would be happy to help your child with their financial futures.  Give us a call today.