Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Welcome to my Wednesday Education (financial) B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog where I am opening up a conversation around family finances and strategies to discuss money in each household. My family never talked about money, we only had one semester of personal finance in high school, and so we all had to find out about money the difficult way. I am here to change our money mindset so that our kids are not blindsided when they become adults. Each week on Wednesdays, I will be giving pointers on how families can start talking about money.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed how children’s books and games can help families start the discussion about finances. Last week, I explained the 5 W’s of FamilyFinancial Planning. The next five weeks, I will break down the 5 W’s and highlight each area to better help families understand how to open up communication around how money works and everyone’s roles in family financial planning.
Who Should Participate in Family Financial Planning?
All family members, if they can talk and count money, would benefit from discussing the family’s financial planning and should be involved in the process. The children may not fully understand financial planning, but if you make it a yearly family activity and discuss money often, they will eventually understand it and be able to better manage it when they are out on their own. Many families also include a financial advisor or family financial planner to assist them in making financial decisions. Below is a list of roles families can do to start taking action on making family finances a regular household discussion.
Kids Roles in Family Finances
Children absorb tons of information while they are young (especially observing what parents model), and the younger you expose your children to money, the better they will be able to manage it as an adult. If you are quiet about money, then your children will mostly be quiet about it, too. Many families have never been taught how to discuss money, so below I have provided some actions that kids and teens can do to participate in family finances.
10 Actions Kids Can Do About Money at Home
- Observing adults planning, budgeting, spending, saving
- Counting money
- Identifying different types of money/currency
- Reading books about money
- Playing games involving money
- Interacting with money transactions
- Participating in creating financial goals
- Making a list of needs and wants
- Collecting/saving money in piggy bank and real bank
- Creating original things to make money
Parents Roles in Family Finances
Most adults already have at least one financial planning day for themselves, some adults plan quarterly, some monthly, it all depends on how active the adults wants to be with money. The gist here is to get everyone involved with family financial planning at least one day a year, and I highly suggest making it like a fun annual holiday. When you attach emotion to learning, it makes it more memorable. So get out the gold/silver streamers and balloons, put on the money playlist, dance to money music, eat the money cake, play some money games, and celebrate making money memories! Below are some actions parents can take to up their family money game.
10 Actions Parents Can Do About Money at Home
- Modeling good money habits
- Staying positive with money
- Getting your kids involved with money at a young age
- Planning a family financial holiday
- Talking to your kids about money often, not just once a year
- Reading current adult books on managing money
- Following positive money role models on social media
- Watching YouTube or other videos about money
- Attending online money management seminars or accounting courses
- Seeking planning assistance with a financial advisor or family planner who will come to your home and talk with everyone
In the past, families did not talk much about money and many schools still do not even teach about personal finance, leaving many adults clueless about how to manage family finances. Now is the time to start changing the way we talk about money with everyone in the family, the “who”. I have provided some action steps that kids and parents can take to start the discussion around money in the household. Next week, I will dive into the “why” families should start planning their finances together.
Thank you for reading,
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.