As a child, I looked forward to opening up a bunch of toys and dolls under the tree on Christmas morning. I mean, what child doesn’t, right? But if I’m being totally honest, in hindsight, there would have been just one gift that I’d have grown to love and appreciate more than any of those toys within just a few more years: Financial literacy and financial peace!
What does that mean for parents to give this to their children? It’s about teaching them the basics of money management and finances. It’s about providing them with the resources they need to learn and become comfortable with financial topics. And finally, it’s about helping to set them up with financial assets they’ll need to later enjoy some financial peace throughout adulthood. Today, I want to share just a few tidbits of financial knowledge parents can pass on to their children this holiday season. #TakeSimpleSteps
Teaching your kids to understand the value of money:
The holidays are truly the perfect time to pass this message on to our kids because, more than any other time of the year, we rely heavily on our budgets to make the holidays happen. It’s important for our kids to learn to budget their finances at this time as well. I recommend giving them an amount of money (either cash or a gift card) and challenging them to plan for and stick to a budget while shopping for gifts for other family members and friends.
They may not want to tell you everything they’re buying, but help them through the process of a) ranking their expenses from most to least important and b) setting a realistic budget for each individual gift.
Make financial literacy fun
I know most kids are screaming for gifts that scream “financial literacy,” but there are lots of games and resources that make this really fun for children. I’ve shared a few fun activities and games that can help kids learn more about money and money management in a fun way. Check those out HERE.
Show them how you’re planning for their future
I’ve been working with COUNTRY Financial these past few months and learning even more about the importance of financial literacy and planning. So far, I’ve shared some tips on how soon to start saving for college, as well as some of the biggest mistakes parents make when planning for college. With all I’ve learned, I can honestly share with you all that planning for your children’s future is truly the best gift you can give them!
So many of us are still paying off our own college loans when the reality hits that someday sooner than we think, we’ll be sending our little ones off to college. The really shocking part of this is the fact that college tuition costs are rising every year. Right now, the approximate annual tuition for a four-year public college is around $18,000 while you’re looking at upwards of $40,000 for a private institution. The estimated incremental increase is around 3.2% annually, which means that this number is likely to be even more astronomical by the time our kids get there.
Imagine how much financial peace both our children and we would feel if we took just a few simple steps to start planning and saving ahead for college. It’s really never too early to start this process, but there is a such thing as too late. Too late comes when parents become forced to sacrifice some comforts such as vacations, daily spending, etc or even making some huge mistakes such as tapping into their retirement.
There are lots of resources available for parents to help you get started planning for college. COUNTRY Financial has local representatives that you can easily contact to help you learn about these resources and find the best options for your family. To get started, just visit www.countryfinancial.com/simplesteps and give your child a gift they’ll appreciate for the rest of their lives!
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of COUNTRY Financial. As always, all opinions are mine alone.