‘It’s always good to talk about’: Tips for teaching kids financial literacy at home

CHARLOTTE — As kids head back to class, some schools are now teaching students how to be smart with their money and personal information, but even if your children receive that education in the classroom, Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke suggest expanding on those lessons at home.

Jeanette Casat says her grandchildren may be young, but she’s already talked finances with them.

“You just have to use language that the child understands. You can’t be talking about stocks and bonds to a seven-year-old, but you could be talking to them about saving some of their birthday money,” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Teresa Murray works as the consumer watchdog for the North Carolina chapter of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

“Mom and dad aren’t always going to be there for them,” she told Action 9.

So she recently came up with this list called “Tips for teaching financial literacy and privacy protection to kids of all ages.”

Here are five of Stoogenke’s favorite words of wisdom from Murray’s collection.

  • Avoid impulse purchases.
  • Make saving a priority.
  • Learn how checking accounts and savings accounts work, as well as checks, debit cards and credit cards
  • Learn the importance of paying bills on time.
  • Realize the dangers of phone apps.

“(Kids) put their date of birth online and they put their relatives’ names online and, all of a sudden, you have these bad guys who can draw up a whole database about somebody and it could be to cause them harm or it could be just to create a profile of things to sell them that they don’t need,” Murray said.

Money talk can be overwhelming, even for adults. So keep it simple. Maybe just pick a few words of wisdom and then build on them later.

“It’s always good to talk about it,” Cast said. “You don’t know what’s going to go into their heads. You just hope that eventually … some of it sticks.”

Murray and PIRG also say, “The best lessons are taught by example.”

The full list of tips for discussing financial literacy with your kids can be found here.

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