Raising Kids to Be Mindful of Money

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The following post is sponsored by T Rowe Price:

mindful of money

I learned at a pretty early age that if I wanted something, I’d have to work for the money to get it. In some ways, that seemed unfair. Other kids certainly didn’t have to scrimp and save like I did. Or at least that’s how it seemed.

A few years ago I found out that I wasn’t the only kid hiding in the racks at KMart lest a schoolmate catch a glimpse of me shopping there. While it sure seemed that other kids had it made, not everyone really did.

Looks can be deceiving. All the more so when it comes to personal finance. Remember the young man who thought that owning a home was the pinnacle of financial success? He was comparing what he had to what he thought others had.

I worry about how it will be when my kids enter the world of financial independence. I know from experience that they will probably want to do things their way. They will probably make mistakes of their own. (We certainly have.) And yet, I hope against hope, that our journey into debt and back again will be something that they remember and use to form their future financial choices.

T.Rowe Price recently posted the findings of their  2013 Parents, Kids and Money Survey. Their purpose was to understand the basic financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of both parents of children ages 8-14 and their children ages 8-14. You can read the results in their entirety here. I found some of these things fascinating.

t rowe price biggest regrets

When asked about their biggest financial regrets, 19% of parents said that it was taking on too much debt (Amen!) followed by saving too late, getting the wrong job, and spending too much. I get that on a number of levels.

I bet I’m not the only one who can look back through time and find more than a few things that I would change. Thankfully, there’s no better time than the present to make financial changes. And we can include our kids in those changes by teaching them about money matters and helping them navigate the world of finances in a healthy way.

You know I loved the best advice:

t rowe price best advice

Living within one’s means was considered the most important advice parents can give to their kids. Yes, yes, yes! Our culture has been transformed into one that lives on borrowed money. That can’t last forever. So, we need to stop the cycle with ourselves and teach our kids a better way.

money confident kidsT.Rowe Price has launched the site, Money Confident Kids, to help parents and educators better understand their own finances as well as teach their kids a better way to look at money.

There’s a special section geared for kids as well as a Disney game called The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. FishBoy10 played it and earned over 17,000 truffles in his first try.

great piggy bank adventure

I think it’s true that most of us can get improve how we manage our time, how we eat, how we care for our bodies, and how we manage our money. I appreciate how the site offers education for adults as well as kids. There are so many great tips on the site, you could spend hours reading up on how to approach money talk with your kids.

So far we’ve done a few things to educate the FishKids about money:

1. We included them in our Get Out of Debt experience. They were great partners with us in saving money and willingly foregoing pleasures so that we could pay down our debts.

2. They earn a monthly allowance and are given the opportunity to practice money management.

3. As a family we’re saving for our trip to France. We’re about halfway to our goal right now which is good since we only have one year left until go-time.

I know that I have a long way to go, though, in preparing my kids. I’d love to hear what you do to teach your kids to be mindful of money.

How is your family raising “money confident kids”?


This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

Disclosure: I have partnered with T.Rowe Price to write this post. Statistical data has been provided by T.Rowe Price. I have been compensated for my time spent writing. All opinions are my own.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Cheri A says

    Love all the positive reinforcement around regarding living within our means and stopping the cycle. We are trying to help our kids with the same things. We have been very open about how hard it is to climb out of the debt hole and about how credit card interest works with them. We are still working on it, and it’s going to take us a while to get there.

    Our son is going to be going on a band trip overseas next spring break, so they are seeing the choice to save towards our payments that have to be made and hard work on fundraising work opportunities to earn money off our payments. All three of us are working on this.

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