Parental Habits That Financially Ruin Kids
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Michael Chadwick is making sure his kids know how to handle money. The certified financial planner gave both of his daughters their own checkbook and ATM card, which they are required to balance monthly despite being only 11 and 13 years old.
"They get an allowance of $200 a month but allocating that money is their responsibility and their own issue if they make a mistake," Chadwick told MainStreet.com.
He advises other parents to get their child started with a checking account and ATM card at five or six years old. "They made some mistakes back then but now they don't make any," Chadwick said. "When the cash grows enough, we will likely move the money into a brokerage account."
Most parents think they are encouraging their children to talk about money but kids don't necessarily agree, according to a recent study by T. Rowe Price. About 34% of kids want to know how banks and credit cards work, 29% in managing money and 27% noted inflation as an area of interest.
"Parents don't need to be financial experts to be able to share basic money concepts," said Stuart Ritter, vice president with T. Rowe Price. "By talking to children frequently about money and how it is used in order to help them understand financial transactions, parents can more likely pass on good financial habits to their kids."
The 2013 Parents, Kid and Money survey found that 42% of parents think they strongly encourage their kids to talk about money but only 19% of kids strongly agree that they do. About 24% of kids think their parents discourage them from talking about money compared to only 14% of parents.
"In today's society, kids see very few interactions with actual paper money," Ritter told MainStreet. "With an iTunes purchase here and an online bill payment there, kids need guidance. They need to understand how these invisible purchases equate to dollars coming out of Mom and Dad's bank account. Parents should make a point to use real money."
The study further disclosed that 38% of parents avoid talking to their kids about the family's current financial situation and the kids know it. "The average family unconsciously passes down the same limiting beliefs they were taught about money from generation to generation," said Steven Siebold, author of How Rich People Think (London House, 2010). "These are the beliefs that have kept families at the same level of financial success for dozens if not hundreds of years. The craziest part is these beliefs are rarely if ever questioned before they are handed down."
Another serious financial mistake parents make in front of their children is to rack up unnecessary credit card debt.