Even though we’ve faced new challenges with the pandemic, it’s also presenting new opportunities.
Sheltering in place has given our family time together that we otherwise never would have had. We have spent time learning new skills.
My son has gone up six Fortnite levels, my daughter has mastered the selfie, and my wife should open a bakery. As for me, I wish I could say my golf game was ready for the pro tour, but I guess I’ll need to stick to my day job.
As a father and a financial advisor I have a natural interest in teaching my kids how to be financially responsible. I want them to understand that it takes consistent effort (just like anything else) to become good at managing money. Now that my kids are eleven and thirteen there are some financial concepts I want them to practice.
Budget and save for goals
We recently opened savings accounts for the kids. Rather than just handing them cash each month we have been transferring their allowance into the savings accounts. It’s been interesting to see the change in their behavior now that they don’t have readily available cash stashed away in a sock drawer. They are much more hesitant to take money out of their savings because it means it will take them longer to achieve some goals they have set.
Being an investor
When I was showed my 11-year-old son how to view the transaction history is his account, he spotted the interest credit. I explained that the credit union pays him a little bit each month (although it was only a couple of pennies, because deposit rates are so low right now, but that’s a whole other topic) just for keeping his savings with them.
His eyes lit up and jaw dropped. Seeing him excited about saving money is a great feeling for me as a father. My dad taught me these same lessons and now it’s my turn to teach my kids.
I personally believe that teaching kids the true value of money is through giving back. As a parent I want my kids to have empathy for others. Learning how to donate money (or time) to the causes they believe in now will make them better adults in the future.
I hope that when my kids look back on this historic time in the years and decades to come that they will remember how we leaned on each other. I hope that they will learn through this just how strong and resilient they are.