The Sooner You Talk To Your Children About Money, The Better

Opposites. That’s what my two sons are. Well, not it all respects (they both love to play video games, ride bikes, get dirty, and generally annoy each other) but when it comes to money, they couldn’t be more different. My oldest is 11, going on 40. His view of money is quite simple. He doesn’t like to spend it. We live several states away from grandparents, aunts, and uncles, so holiday gifts generally involve money or gift cards, and he simply saves it all. As an Accredited Financial Counselor® this makes my heart smile, but I know saving every last penny isn’t always a good thing.

My oldest told me recently that he was going to get a high paying job (he’s currently obsessed with mechanics and space so there’s a high likelihood I have a future aerospace engineer on my hands) and that he’s going to live very simple and save all his money. Then what? I asked. He didn’t have an answer, he just knew he wanted to save. I used this as a learning opportunity to teach him that’s it’s great to save, but it’s okay (a necessary) to spend sometimes too. He seemed to be somewhat on board with that, but I’m sure we’ll revisit necessary spending on many more occasions.

My youngest is almost 8, and he is my spender. His little batman wallet is never full long before he’s begging to go to the store (the only time he wants to accompany me) so that he can spend it. At the store, we look at prices and talk about saving up to get that big-ticket item that he really wants, but can’t currently afford. Some of the math lessons, like rounding up, stick. Maybe it’s his age and maybe it’s just his predisposition to spending, but the idea of saving up doesn’t usually resonate. He wants to spend his money and he wants to spend it now. We’ve touched briefly on loans and credit cards, but I see many conversations in my future on that subject.

Whatever your spending nature, whatever your kids spending nature, it’s never too early (or too late) to start talking about money.

Fun Fact: Did you know that using .99 is a little psychology trick used by retailers to keep products under a certain price point? Big-ticket items like vehicles and real estate are sold in the same manner. And it works! This was one interesting take away from earning my B.S. in Consumer Science. People see an item as a better deal when it’s listed at $19.99 vs. $20.00, $34,999 vs $35,000, or $299,900 vs. $300,000. Something to keep in mind the next time you’re out shopping around.

Addie Pesche is not a registered representative of The Investment Center, Inc. Jessica Merino is a registered representative of The Investment Center, Inc. and can answer any questions you may have.

Merino Wealth is not affiliated with The Investment Center, Inc.

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