Whose job is it to teach children about money? Yours.
If you’re a parent, it's best to assume that your kids won't learn about saving, investing or spending money in school. The Council for Economic Education reports that only 17 states require some type of personal finance class in high school. And according to Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy, only five states earned an "A" for teaching students the basics of budgeting, borrowing, paying bills, building credit and investing: Utah, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama.
Maybe someday a nationwide financial literacy course will be instituted. But until then, you're the only teacher your child will ever have on the subject of personal finance. So it's up to you to discuss money matters, reinforce good habits and, of course, set a positive example.
Ready to be the best teacher you can be? Here are 5 ways to nurture your children's financial literacy.
Money Lesson #1
Talk about money at home. Silence sends a message that money isn't important, or that it's something to fear. Show your kids the monthly bills – and how to pay them.
Money Lesson #2
Pay yourself first. The first bill you pay each month should be to yourself. Explain to your kids that it's important to save, and not spend every dime earned.
Money Lesson #3
Real-world budgeting. A prepaid debit card can teach kids how to use money in the real world. They'll learn how to respect the spending amount you set for them.
Money Lesson #4
Home school investing. By age 12, you can introduce your kids to the stock market. Pique their interest in watching how a favorite brand like Disney (NYSE:DIS) performs.
Money Lesson #5
Take what life gives you. Leverage everyday situations to teach your kids about money. Encourage them to set money aside for a family vacation, help set the grocery budget, or determine the best use of your family's tax refund.
Come tax time, smart money management always comes into play. And no one knows that better than H&R Block. We understand that you're counting on your tax refund to pay for important things like new car tires, braces, or summer camp.
Therefore, we provide a range of options so you can choose the one that’s right for you. For instance, with More Zero you can file your 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040 with Schedule A (with itemized deductions) absolutely free online.
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File for free with H&R Block Online today.