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16 Money Habits Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

16 Money Habits Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids


What is a money habit? It’s a sustainable, repeatable way to you manage some aspect of your money. The money habits you keep – whether good or bad – can tell you a lot about your finances. You can see the results of your habits in your savings, earnings, and how much you invest.

We pass our habits along to our kids as they model their behavior off what they watch us do. That transfer of knowledge and habits can either be intentional or involuntary – it’s up to you.

If you want to set your children up to be successful adults, then a great thing to do is to help them establish good money practices at an early age. Children are ready to learn as early as age 3. Start with small habits like counting out dollars and coins, and work your way up from there.

There are a lot of tips and tricks that will help you achieve this goal as your child goes through every stage of development. There are also some pitfalls to avoid so you can steer your kids clear of bad money habits.

In this article, we are going to introduce strategies to handle good and bad financial habits and parenting advice that you can use to help your children at any age.

16 Money Habits Every Parent Should Share with Their Children

money habits

1) Create a Budget

To make sure that you are not over-spending, create a budget for your household. This is a great exercise for older kids and teenagers to understand living expenses and how to manage them.

Itemize all of the costs of living, from the rent or mortgage to the electricity bill. Calculate the average monthly price of each. Then you have a budget.

You can get kids of all ages in on this process by creating a mini-budget for them. For example, make a budget for a summer project or a micro-business like a lemonade stand. It’s all about the practice of understanding how much things will cost and spending and saving accordingly.

2) Provide Cash Flow

To understand income ane expense, your child needs some income. Give your children some money like a small allowance and help them manage it. If (and when) they mismanage it, help them understand the consequences and correct course without reprimanding them. It’s a learning process.

3) Set Up a Savings Account

One in 3 Americans have $0 in savings, and only a fraction have enough saved up to deal with an emergency.

Your savings account is the one in which you are going to save your money instead of spending it. Help kids understand the concept of a savings account by making your budget and calculating what it would cost if something didn’t go as planned. That’s what a savings account is ultimately for, but you can also make it more engaging by helping them save up for something more fun.

4) Auto-transfer

One of the easiest ways to save money is to set up auto-transfer. For example, if you are trying to save $1000 in six months to buy a new laptop, set up your account. It will automatically transfer $42 a week into your savings account.

You can teach a child about this by helping them set up a checking and savings account. Deposit their allowance into the checking account and show them how to schedule an auto-transfer. Tie the savings to a goal like purchasing a toy they really want so they can understand the concept more tangibly and treat it like a fun game!

5) Use Shopping Lists

Instead of going shopping without a list and buying things you don’t need right now, make a list of items that are important to buy and stick to it. This simple habit helps save money and stick to a budget.

Practice this with your kids every time you take them to a store. Get them in on the activity by making a list together. If they’re old enough to do basic math, talk about the budget for the shopping trip and give them a calculator so they can subtract the value of each item as you pick it up. Making (and sticking to) a list builds impulse control and helps kids understand the importance of a dollar.

6) Buy with Cash

Buying with cash creates a tangible connection between an item and its value. Psychologists have studied this concept and proven that when people pay with cash, they have a greater respect for the goods and services bought. Allowing your kids to fork over dollars to the cashier to pay for things can start at a young age and build an understanding of the financial exchange taking place.

7) Track Expenses Daily

Keep an eye on the expenses that you pay daily. Use an app or journal to keep a list of every purchase you make for a week – no matter how big or small. Have your kids do the same.

If they’re wondering where their allowance went, they may find the answer quickly reveals itself in regular purchases of sodas or video game add-ons. Seeing it all laid out helps visualize the cash flow so you can adjust it into your budget and shopping lists better.

save money

8) Define “Bad” Money Habits

Understanding poor financial habits and how to avoid them is important, too. Discuss bad these money habits and break them before they start:

  • Spending more than you earn
  • Depending on debt to pay expenses
  • Taking loans
  • Not saving for the future
  • Not having goals
  • Thinking negative
  • Blaming others or making excuses

9) Track What You Spend

Spending money without knowing where it’s going is a quick way to slide into financial distress. Keeping a budget and taking inventory of what you spend is a necessary habit to be responsible with your money and stay on track with your goals.

Create a self-auditing process and share it with your kids so that money becomes a concept that’s manageable and understandable instead of stressful and out of control.

10) Save With Intention

Even if it’s just a couple of dollars a month, saving is an important habit both mentally and financially. Spending every single penny you have earned can start you or your kids down a path of lack instead of abundance.

If an emergency comes up or an unexpected opportunity arises and you have no money saved to take care of it, then what are you going to do? Saving isn’t just about emergencies, it’s about opportunities as well. You don’t want your kids to miss out on opportunities or befall a tragedy just because they didn’t have some padding in their budget.

Decide on a reason to save and help your child set a savings goal to give them an understanding of this important concept.

11) Understand the Consequences of Credit

At the time of need, credit cards can look like a miracle. The truth is, more often than not they quickly become a burden and can create emergency financial situations all their own.

Paying interest on a purchase you made months (or years) ago really stings. You can help kids understand this concept by doing the math visually.

Take the price of a toy they want to buy now. Calculate how much that toy would cost if they paid it with cash in hand versus over a period of a year or two with an APR of 19%. Explain the difference: they can either save up and buy the toy for less money, or forego a chunk of their allowance for the foreseeable future.

Instead of teaching your kids to rely on credit, teach them to budget, and rely on cash.

12) Achieve a Goal

You don’t have to make a lot of money to manage it well. Having good management skills will help in achieving one’s goals. A person who has better money habits will be set up to have a better, more stable quality of life. Tie your child’s new financial habit to a goal like buying or doing something they want.

13) Model Your Advice

If you want your kid to learn good money habits, you have to show them practically. It’s important to model the behaviors for them in a transparent way and help give them tangible examples they can work through themselves. Experience is the best teacher, after all! Remember, children follow the same thing as their parents. Become a role model. Inspect your own behaviors and feelings about money. If needed, make adjustments.

14) Get Teenagers Involved with the Household Budget

Teenagers are on the precipice of independent living, so financial know-how is especially important for them to grow into successful adults.

It is your responsibility as a parent to help prepare them for the practical necessity that is managing money. Since teenagers are more mentally mature, they can handle more complex, real-world information to help them learn and prepare.

It may seem scary, but getting your teen in on managing the household budget is a fantastic exercise for this age group. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Tell your kid about every expense.
  • Inform them about the household’s monthly income.
  • Walk through the monthly and yearly budget, plus any retirement and college funds that you’re paying into.
  • Help your child open their bank accounts (checking and savings) if they don’t already have them.
  • Every week discuss your expenses and tell them how you manage them.
  • Give your teen tasks like grocery shopping or running an errand with a list that helps them develop the habit on their own.
  • Research and share stories of financially prosperous people and what you can learn/integrate from their approaches.

workaholic

15) It’s Never Too Late to Learn – Help Your Adult Children with Money Habits

So, maybe you got to this a little later in the game. Parenting advice isn’t just for parents of young kids – there’s still valuable information you can pass on to your children even if they’re adults. Here are some ideas for how to help your adult children manage money:

  • Help them make a budget according to their income and expenses.
  • Talk with them about money in a calm, non-confrontational way.
  • Discuss their larger purchases and financial goals like buying a car or moving to a new city and make a financial roadmap to help them get there.

16) Break Bad Money Habits.

If your child has picked up some poor money habits, then you can use that as a learning opportunity. We all make mistakes with money at one point or another. Bouncing back is part of the process.

Identify the issue and why it’s a problem.

Talk about how this bad habit would really affect them in the future. Ask what they want to do – fix it or continue down the path they’re on.

If they choose to fix it, make a plan together for how to get through the problem. Be sure to include action steps that you can measure. Talk regularly about how the plan is going and measure their success. Celebrate when they’ve achieved their goal and un-done the problem.

If they don’t choose to fix it, then you may need to let them suffer the consequences of their financial mistake. The stakes during childhood and teenage years are usually much, much lower than in adulthood. Better they learn now than when they have a family of their own.

What if you’re the one with the bad habits? Look at it as an opportunity. You can learn together and even use yourself as an example of why it’s important to manage money well. Parents aren’t perfect, after all!

What better way to humbly show your kids how to do something than to learn and develop those great habits side-by-side.

Final Thoughts on Teaching Smart Money Habits to Your Kids

Money is a fundamental part of life. It’s how we obtain basic necessities like food and shelter, as well as indulgences like travel and toys.

Parents and caregivers play a significant role in shaping their children’s habits around money. Managing money is a reality that every adult must deal with. Because of that, it’s better to be more transparent with your kids and help them learn the skills to manage their money rather than letting them think it, “grows on trees.”

People don’t just spontaneously know how to manage money. If you help your kids understand that early on, then they’ll have a head start in life. Every parent wants their child to be equipped to live a happy, healthy life. Money management is simply a part of that journey.

Lifestyle

15 Etiquette Rules Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids   |6 Minute Read

15 Etiquette Rules Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids   |6


Proper etiquette is essential, no matter how old you are. As parents, we’re responsible for teaching our kids proper etiquette. Understanding etiquette helps your kids be poised and comfortable in all kinds of social settings. So, what are15 etiquette rules every parent should teach their kids?

Manners or etiquette?

Manners and etiquette are used interchangeably, but actually, they have different meanings.

Etiquette is the prevailing behavior related to cultural norms, such as things to do or not do. Etiquette goes beyond manners. They guide behavior i.e., where you place your fork and spoon.

Manners are considerations for others. They are guidelines that show respect and thoughtfulness. Saying “please and thank you” are examples of good manners, but it’s also proper etiquette.

Etiquette matters

Educators say that parents who neglect to teach their kids basic social etiquette put their children at a disadvantage at a young age. If you want them to learn proper etiquette, you must first practice what you preach. The old saying, “More is caught than taught,” applies here. So, be a model of proper etiquette for your kids.

Greeting etiquette

1 –  Say hello and remember the person’s name

If you can’t remember a person’s name when you greet them, ask them. No one will think less of you if you ask for their name. They’ll probably be pleased you asked.

Teach your kids to greet using the person’s name. Some families prefer that their kids use titles, like Mr. or Mrs. It’s really up to you if your kids call adults by their first name. But it’s probably good for them to learn proper titles in case they are in a situation where an adult introduces themselves as Mr. or Mrs., then they should use the title to greet the adult.

2 – Eye contact

Our culture values eye contact. Help your kids look into the eyes of those they greet. Practice this at home with your kids or with their grandparents or neighbors. Kids learn from repetition, and if you make it fun, they’ll remember even more. When your child makes eye contact and greets an adult, be sure to give them lots of praise. Shy kids may need more encouragement and practice, but after a while, greeting with eye contact will be a natural habit.

3 – Asking someone, “how are you?”

Asking someone how they are is an excellent way to demonstrate care and concern. In the United States, it’s a common thing to say when you see someone you know. It can sometimes be said without much interest, but it’s still a kind thing for your kids to learn. You can teach them to say something like

  • Are you well?
  • How are you doing?
  • How’s it going?

4 – It was nice to see you

After you finish a conversation with someone, it’s proper etiquette to tell them it was nice to see them. Training your child to say this teaches them to be kind to people. Kindness must be taught. It doesn’t come naturally to all kids or adults.  Explain what kindness is and why it’s important to show compassion. Being kind is a small way your child can change the world around them.

Please and thank you etiquette rules

work from home
Here are quiet activities for the children to do while you work from home.

5 – Thanks for having me over

If someone has your child over for a meal or a playtime, teach them to thank their hosts. This phrase is another way to show their gratitude. Adults are surprised when kids show appreciation, but being thankful to a host can become a natural habit for your kids.

6 – May I please?

Who hasn’t heard a child yell, “I want it!” But even a very young child can learn to say please. Role-play is a fun way to teach this to your kids about these habits. Keep the times short-no longer than 15 minutes.

You can demonstrate both the right way and the wrong way to ask for something. You can get in on the act by pretending to be the screaming child. The kids will have so much fun. They realize you’re teaching them something.

7 – Thank you

Gratitude is a thoughtful way to show people they are meaningful to you. A grateful child will become a thankful adult. Thankfulness must be taught. Little ones don’t come into the world as grateful beings. This phrase is another simple thing to teach your child with role play games.

Table etiquette

8 – Sitting at the table

Sitting in a chair is not only proper etiquette, but it is also a safety issue.  Use positive reinforcement to remind your child to sit down. Try saying, “Remind me where your feet go,” instead of “Don’t stand up.” Positive reinforcement gives the child a chance to problem solve on their own.

9 – Ask before you reach

Teach your children to ask for items they need rather than reaching across the table. Sadly, many adults do this. Train your child to say, “May I please have….”. This brings up the question of when to use may or when to use can. They are very different words.

  • May-Saying “may” means you are asking someone’s permission. An example is: “May I have the sugar.”
  • Can- Can means you are asking if you have the physical ability to do something. An example is: “Can I go up the steps with my broken foot?

10 – No thanks, I don’t prefer that

Your kids don’t need to like everything they’re served at a meal. Teach them how to refuse food graciously. A simple no thank you is excellent for a younger child to say, but an older child can say, “No, thank you. I don’t care for more Brussel sprouts.”

This begs the question about whether children should be made to eat everything that’s put on their plate. This is up to you, but generally, they should at least take one or two bites of everything on their plate. It’s a good practice to learn as a child and will serve them later in life.

11 – Elbows off the table

Good etiquette requires no elbows on the table. It’s an easy habit to break with repeated reminders. Of course, dad and mom will need to practice this too.

12 – May I be excused?

Generally, at the end of a meal, your child should ask before they get up from the table. You can teach them to wait until everyone at the table has finished eating before they ask to get up. It’s just good etiquette to wait for others and to seek permission before leaving the table. When they get up, it’s an excellent time for them to thank their host for the meal.

Generally speaking: Conversational etiquette rules

13 – Interrupt the correct way

Sometimes a child needs to ask you something. Teach them the right way to interrupt. Adults do this all the time, and it’s something a child needs to learn. Don’t assume they’ll figure it out on their one. Even a small child can learn to stand beside you and wait.

Some parents have the child gently touch their arm. Then when you look at them, your child can say, “Excuse me, mom…” and ask you whatever they need to ask.  It takes practice, and it’s hard for kids to have the self-control to wait, but they’ll learn.

14 – Let parents have adult conversations

Your kids need to learn to allow you to speak with a co-worker or a friend without them hanging on you. Young children often do this because they want your full attention. Adults often assume kids can’t learn hard things like this, but your kids will surprise you. This is another great role-play game for your kids. You can pretend to talk with an invisible friend. Your child can wait next to you until you look at them.  Give them lots of praise when they wait patiently—trying to increase their wait time- thirty seconds to one minute, then up to two minutes. Keep practicing this when grandma or a friend comes over so they can try it out. Give them lots of praise when they try hard.

15 – Wait for your host before you start eating

Adults don’t always get this one right, but your kids can learn it.   Practice this at home at dinner time or breakfast. Have your child sit down and watch you. Make it a game for them as you sit down,  put your napkin on your lap, lift your fork, and then they can pick up their fork and begin eating. Congratulate them when they get it right. Be patient. Kids need repetition and reminders.

etiquette rulesFinal Thoughts on Children and Etiquette Rules

Parents remember to adjust your expectations for your kids as they get older. A two-year-old may be expected to only say, “Hi” but a five-year-old should say, “Hello, Mr. Smith. It’s nice to see you.” when she greets your neighbor next door. Your kids may feel shy but remind them how important it is to focus on the other person instead of themselves. It will help them feel less shy.

Making others comfortable is a great reason to have good etiquette rules. But good etiquette is also helpful for your child. It prepares them for life by giving them the tools they need to feel comfortable in any setting. Good etiquette improves your kids’ confidence so they can live without feeling inadequately prepared. So, parents start teaching your kids good etiquette rules. They’ll thank you later.

Technology

Top 6 Important Things to Know Before You Teach Yourself to Code

Top 6 Important Things to Know Before You Teach Yourself


Top 6 Important Things to Know Before You Teach Yourself to Code

Are you thinking about how to teach yourself to code?

Knowing how to code is one of the most valuable skills you can have.

But, teaching yourself to code is no easy feat. It takes hard work, dedication, and patience. Learning code doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to be prepared for the long haul.

How do you stay on track throughout your journey?

Read on to learn 5 important things you should know before you teach yourself to code.

1. How Your Code Looks Counts

It’s always important to keep in mind that you are writing code for humans.

Therefore, how your code looks and reads is extremely important. This means you should always:

  • Have good indentations
  • Correctly name your variables
  • Not leaving broken code
  • Not leaving comments

From the very start, paying attention to what your code looks like is very important.

2. Know Why You Want to Learn Code

There are so many directions you can go once you learn to code, that having an idea of what you want to do beforehand can help you narrow down your focus.

Do you want to build websites? What about computer games? Or, maybe you want to be a professional programmer?

You can always change your mind along the way, but having an idea of what you want to do can save you from learning things you don’t need to know. Plus, having a goal in mind will give you the motivation to continue.

3. Don’t Get Too Hung Up on Coding Languages

When you first start teaching yourself to code, you’ll quickly realize there are a lot of coding languages to choose from.

Picking one to start with can feel like an overwhelming decision, but don’t get too worked up over it.

There is no “best language” in coding, and once you learn one, it’s fairly easy to learn others.

That said, there are some more beginner-friendly coding languages out there, such as Ruby. You can also learn Java fast.

And, depending on what you want to do, some coding languages are better to learn than others. For example, if you want to write an iPhone app, then you need to learn Swift.

4. Better to Be an Expert in One Thing

When teaching yourself to code, you shouldn’t try to be a jack of all trades, because likely you’ll just be a master of none.

Therefore, instead of trying to learn the basics of one language, and moving on to the next, you should work to become an expert in a single language.

This will prove to be extremely advantageous later on when you’re trying to market yourself to employers.

5. Put Yourself Out There

When you’re teaching yourself to code, it’s very important to put yourself out there.

Reach out to great programmers you admire, attend conferences, interact online with programming communities. Putting yourself out there and immersing yourself in the coding community is the best way to receive supportive feedback along the way about your coding.

6. Fall in Love With It

All great programmers will tell you that to be a great coder, you really have to fall in love with it.

Honestly, getting through the tough parts of teaching yourself to code is really difficult if you don’t love it.

Technology is what moves the world forward, and learning to code will allow you to change the world. Keep this in mind during the tough parts.

Ready to Teach Yourself to Code?

With these insider tips, you’re definitely ready to teach yourself to code.

And once you’ve taken yourself further in the coding world, check out this article about how to improve a website.