You and Your Money

Your children will follow your lead when it comes to spending or saving money -- make sure you set a good example!

In This Article:

What you think about money

The word money for you probably triggers both a practical and an emotional response. First, you may think about what you earn, the bills you have to pay, or what you'd like to buy in the future. This is your practical side.

You also may experience some emotional reaction to the word money. You may feel overwhelmed or need to feel in control. You may feel comfortable, or even cavalier.

Whatever you may be thinking or feeling about money can very well influence how your child views—and ultimately handles—money. A fall 1998 survey on Teens and Money by USA Weekend showed that 77 percent of those between the ages of 12 and 18 learned a lot about money matters from their parents.

Financial Building Blocks

According to a 1997 poll published in USA Today, adults say they learned money habits from their parents at an early age. Key habits included these:

Budgeting money 77 percent
Donating to charity 80 percent
Shopping wisely 85 percent

Your Head and Your Money

As a parent, you face the demands of paying the rent or the mortgage, the doctor bills, the grocery store totals, and the cable TV bill every month. You probably also are planning for future expenditures, such as a new roof, a vacation, or your child's college education. You do this whether you like it or not, whether you feel comfortable or distressed. It's just your responsibility, and you try your best to handle it.

You map out how you're going to get the money you need, decide what you must or would like to spend it on, and how much you can save for the future. Again, being practical dictates your actions here.

Obviously, practicality is important because it allows you to deal with your money responsibilities every day.

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