How to talk to your kids about money

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What’s up, everyone? This is Brandon Copeland, aka Professor Cope. And now you’re listening to another very special… very, very, very special… very, very, very special episode of Cope’ing With Money.

In this episode of Cope’ing With Money, it’s time for us to stop beating around the bush, stop gambling, and have serious, serious conversations – serious conversations about life constants, things we know we’re going to do. to be confronted with a given moment: with the money.

We don’t talk about it at school. We don’t talk about it at home. We don’t talk about it on social networks. (Well, some people talk about it and then others talk about it a lot.) But what do we do as parents to make sure that we prepare our children for strong financial future?

For me, my goal is to make my son use and understand that money is his employee and it is his tool. The work I do today is for him. (Hey, please Bryson, if you’re listening, don’t spend it all in one place.)

No matter what your income level or what tax bracket you find yourself in, it is our duty as parents and heads of families to provide our children with the information they need to successfully navigate the world. money in adulthood.

So if you’re listening now, how do we start having these conversations about money with our kids?

Know your audience

First of all, we’ve all heard that age is just a number, but it is very important when you have those money conversations with your kids. This conversation will be different depending on the age of your child.

It can sometimes be difficult to connect on these difficult topics, especially with teenagers. What are they thinking about? How to get into their heads, especially when they don’t even want to talk to us? The door is still locked. The music is always explosive. And they don’t even want to hug you for more than five seconds.

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But… we have to find a way through.

We need to make sure that we put things in terms that our children can actually understand, whether it’s slowing down for the younger ones or finding examples that the older ones can relate to.

Recently, I had the opportunity to break bread with high school students and I had the opportunity to reflect on what they thought about money: what they were afraid of, what they were excited about. One person said they were nervous about credit. They didn’t really get it. Okay, okay… let’s talk about it.

Always engage your kids with the topics they are really interested in, because building that communication and trust early on will pave the way for topics later.

Use simple representations

In this case: what is your credit rating? As my good friend Sam Parker always says, “Your credit score is pretty much your financial resume. As you try to say, “Hey, give me some money for this car. I promise I’ll pay you back,” there’s a bunch of people behind you saying “He’s good for this” or ” Don’t listen to you. He’s lying. He still hasn’t paid me back for those Skittles last week.

A light representation like this is something that can truly be implanted in a child’s brain for a lifetime. And the most important thing that we have to make sure that we insist here is that we don’t have to do this rocket science. If I give you $ 20, what is the probability that you will pay it back? A higher credit score means you’re more likely to pay it off. A lower credit score means, “Uh, I have to question you a bit. I still have some questions. “

Ultimately, small conversations like this become life lessons for your children.

Help them start early

Now let me help you look like the smartest parent in the room. Some students want to start building great credit now. I totally agree with that.

I want to thank my mother-in-law, Angela Copeland, who had the foresight to get me a college student credit card so that I could start having good credit. Strategically she put a little limit of $ 200 on that credit card so her son here couldn’t go out and make so many mistakes and dig such a big hole that it ruined the rest of my life.

Yes, the $ 200 for a student is a lot of money, but creating that good credit payment history over time by paying off that $ 14 monthly bill has paid off me tremendously over time in terms of my credit score. . By laying these foundations early on, you can easily assess when your child is actually ready for a responsibility like this. and they can begin to build up good credit that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Teach the fundamentals of investing

Now what else should I tell my child about? For me, I want my son’s hard work early in his life to work hard for him for the rest of his life, which means he needs his money to work for him. I said it once. I’ve said it twice, and I’ll say it again: we need to get it invested.

So, I like to ask kids, “Wow, these are nice shoes. Your friend has the same pair of shoes. Did you know you could own this business? I own this business. When you bought these shoes and when your friend is a relative bought these shoes, guess what? I made money. I hope if you keep buying shoes then the money I earn from owning the business will pay for my next pair of shoes. “

Then we can go further. By opening a small investment account to watch together, your child will have the opportunity to see their money grow. A simple conversation like this can leave a child wondering, “Hmm, I want to know more,” and that’s all we need as a parent.

Discuss healthy spending habits

It is also important that you notice your child’s drinking habits. “Hey, do I see my son getting too spendthrift?” Well my son tends to save a lot. Or if I see a negative trend, how can I potentially integrate it?

It is easy for a child to get carried away with whatever money can buy him or her. But as parents, it’s our job to make them aware of how much input they have compared to their output. We need it to understand cash flow. It is never too late or too early to talk about the budget. And hey, you might just learn a thing or two yourself.

Make it a conversation

We have to take off our parent hat for a second. We cannot be experts or know-it-alls in this area. They must be conversations. No one wants to be told what to do, but when you work with someone and collaborate with someone, then you are able to let your guard down and open up to growth.

Let’s make sure that we take responsibility for the job, task and responsibility that we have to remove mental stress from their life because of money. We don’t have all the answers. We are going to solve this problem together as parents, but it all starts with a conversation – simple too.

At this point you know where to find me: Kiplinger.com/cope. Send me a DM, comment, email, send owl or carrier pigeon to get in touch with me. I want to know how these conversations go, and also, what topic you would like to hear me talk about at the next Cope’ing With Money.

As always, stay safe, stay blessed. I’ll see you soon. Peace.

Links and resources mentioned

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