What Financial Advice Do Kids Remember?

Jul 10, 2015
Question of the Day, Research, Personal Finance, Current Events, Parent Conversations

Remember that parents play an important role when it comes to personal finance (recent US Bank study found that 55% of college students identified their parents as the number one influence when it comes to money matters).  Kiplinger writers asked their children what they remembered when it came to parental advice.  Some of the best advice they received:

  • Build savings habits early:  “Online editor Cameron Huddleston recalls that she and her husband taught daughter Maya to stash coins in a piggy bank from the time she was young. Now 10, Maya says she’s “learned that it’s better to save than spend so you can buy the things you really need or want.”
  • Give kids experience managing money: “Contributing editor Kathy Kristof’s daughter, Samantha Magnuson, 25, says that getting an allowance that required her to pay for just about everything was “a really important way to learn about managing cost-of-living expenses against frivolous ones. Since I had to pay, even for gas, I had to think more carefully about whether it was worth eating out.”
  • Take some time to think before making larger purchases: “Staff writer Miriam Cross, 28, contributed her own recollection: “I follow my mom’s advice to sleep on a decision to see if I still want to make a purchase the next day. This has saved me from many pointless purchases.”
  • Actions speak louder than words:  “Finally, Anne Kates Smith’s son, Nick, 22, tells how important it is to set a good example (rule number eight): “Through your actions, you taught me that I would need to work for my money, decide what I wanted to spend it on and what I could live without. What I remember most is you teaching by example, which is probably the sneakiest and most effective way to reach a kid.”

Good bell ringer (opening question):  Ask your students the best money advice they have ever received.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.