In about a week's time, our son will turn 12. This means he will pay adult's price at Great Clips and our favorite buffet restaurant. And it's also time for some systematic financial education.
So our weekend assignment for him: read the CNN Money 5-article series "Financial Education For Kids" and summarize his thoughts in writing.
Here is what he turned in (with no edits from me):
After reading this article, I learn the importance of financial education for kids. Financial is a critical lesson for the kids to learn.
Although managing money is a very hard task to do, I still believe it is very important for teenagers to learn how to manage their money. From managing money, you will learn the concept of savings. Today, many Americans don’t have savings. When there is an emergency situation, they can’t handle it. In college, you will use a lot of money for tuition. So the money you save today, it is for tomorrow. Managing money is also very useful because it teaches you how to do research. From researching, you learn how to compare different values, reading articles, and how to negotiate with sales man about the price. For example, I did a lot of research for buying a new phone. I look up all the different prices and compared them. I learned a lot from doing that. It can also exercise the mathematic abilities of the kids.
Owning a credit card is a critical lesson for kids. Today, most college students have credit cards. Owning a credit card is also a very good practice of managing money. It allows students to accept different responsibilities. For example, they will need to pay their balance in a certain amount of time. At the same time, they will learn how to record their account information. Because of all these reasons, we should encourage children to learn to manage money.
From managing money last year, I learned that earning money requires a lot of hard work, effort, and determination. I did chores such as cleaning the dish washer, and throwing away our garbage. I earn twenty dollars a week. I have a goal of buying a new phone. I think doing anything needs determination. Without determination, you will quit in the middle. So I was determined to work hard and make money for my new phone. Although there was many time when my “salary” got deducted because of my mistake, but I didn’t give up. After about half a year of work, I finally achieved my goal. From this I learned everything requires hard work and effort. Another reason why I achieved my goal is because I learned about savings. I controlled myself from buying unnecessary things. After achieving this goal, I will earn more I will work harder in the next year, and earn more money.
I wish daddy can teach me how to about investing because it will be a very important skill in the future. A huge portion of our family’s income comes from investment. My dad has a neat and detailed money book and he does a lot of research. From my understanding of investing, I think I should not be greedy and should do a lot of research on the stock market. I will learn from my dad, I will keep a money book too. I think having a money book is very useful, it helps you to organize your financial information. I keep my money book on a software called Quicken. It is extremely useful. It has the function of keeping track of your bank account, gift cards, and etc. I will keep track of my money on this software and I will try to figure out some new functions. By investing, I planned to earn part of my college tuition fee, to save money for the future, and save for charitable donations. I want to become a successful money manager in the future.
Yes, he might not be a kid bound for a literature major, but likely he might get a head start in personal finance :-)
How do you teach your kids about money? Do you want to share your best practices?