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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How To Set a Good Financial Example for Your Children

By Steve Collins

Do you grit your teeth when you give your children their allowance and it right away vanishes on candy and CDs? Do you feel like your kids have no idea of the value of a dollar or the importance of saving? Do you wish your children would learn to set a goal, such as putting aside their money for a big purchase? Family budget counseling could give you the edge you need. With family budget counseling, you will set a good example for your children. If they are old enough, you may even include their input in the counseling process.

There are so many issues to address in family budget counseling. Whether your children are tiny or ready to drive a car, their needs figure highly in family budget counseling. The basic expenses such as food, clothing, school and medical care are always a factor, but as children age they seem to be more expensive.

Your family budget counseling should include starting a column for saving money specifically for the big ticket items that are still far down the road: a car, insurance, college tuition, a wedding. By creating a reasonable and responsible budget, you will be making sure your familys resources are used in the most financially sound way.

By participating in family budget counseling, you will also be demonstrating to your children the right way to handle their money. You will show them the importance of planning your spending ahead of time as well as the value of knowing where your money goes to. You will model saving money and the fun of anticipating a big purchase only when you can afford it. And it might even be nice to sit down with your children and create kid budgets, encouraging them to set some spending categories of their own. Remind them that a percentage of their money should be saved each week, even if they do not have an exact purchase in mind.

Family budget counseling leads to healthier financial behaviors for everyone in your home and takes the guesswork out of your spending habits. It lets you to plan for the future. And if you do your job well, your children will grow up to be responsible consumers who know how to manage their own finances.

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