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Teaching kids about money

I came across this article today and it got me thinking about kids and money.

Raising kids is not easy and teaching them to value and handle money is not easy either. My husband and I have talked about money and how to teach kids the value of money several times. Though we don’t have kids right now, we would like to in the future. Our childhoods were slightly different – I grew up as a kid getting almost everything I wanted – I don’t remember asking for something reasonable and sometimes even unreasonable and not being given. I was a little spoiled. But my sister and I were always taught the value of money.

However, when I entered 8th grade or high school , my parents started to provide both me and my sister with a small monthly allowance. My elder sister had just started college and was getting a raise in her allowance and I insisted on getting one since I had started high school, albeit a much smaller amount. I would use this allowance for getting books from the local lending library (In India, you pay a small amount of the cost of the book to be able to borrow a book from the library) and sometimes, eating a snack at a shop. For the most, though, I would save my money. My sister, when she ran out of her allowance, would borrow money from me and we used to have fights over when she would be late in giving it back to me.. ahh… good memories.

Periodically, for every 2-3 years till I completed college, my parents raised my allowance by a reasonable amount. There were certain expenses I was expected to complete within that amount such as some travel expenses, lunch, etc. I would save most of my allowance. However, I was not expected to do any chores at home – as I said, I was a little spoiled and we had a maid to help out with some of the chores.

The interesting thing is I remember having conversations with my dad about finance in general – about economy, money, exchange rates, etc but I don’t ever remember him telling me I should do this or that with my allowance. I don’t remember ever having a conversation where they told me this is how I should deal with money or that I should save my allowance or be careful about what I spend.

On the whole, I think I turned out good and I hope my kids turn out good as well. But there are certain things I will do differently than my parents. I will expect my kids to help out with chores but there are some things I will do like my parents – I would like to teach my kids about money without appearing to do so.

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