Grandparents often play a big role in their grandchildren's lives. They can provide them with a loving support system, impart important lessons and much more. One issue that grandparents may not think to bring up, however, is finances. If you would like to contribute to your grandchildren's financial future, teaching them about money may be the best way to help.
In a recent survey conducted by TIAA-CREF, 85% of young adults said they were willing to discuss finances with their grandparents. Less than 10% of grandparents, however, said that they had ever broached the subject. Oftentimes, grandparents merely need to bring up the subject.
If you're wondering the best way to teach your favorite grandchildren about money, here are some easy to follow tips on how to get the conversation started.
One of the best ways to help teens learn about money is by taking them on a shopping trip. Grocery stores or big box stores like Target can provide you with a myriad of opportunities to talk about money. Discuss how prices have changed since you were young, and bring up the idea of inflation. This may help them develop an appreciation for the value of money.
This can also offer you an opportunity to talk about budgeting. Talk about weekly grocery budgets and what financial issues they'll have to consider once they're living on their own. Give them helpful tips on how to keep track of their finances, and stress the importance of always knowing their spending limits.
Your grandchildren may never have purchased groceries for themselves, and may not understand what things cost. By asking them to consider the price of milk or a bag of chips, you may instill in them a greater awareness of money.
Your grandchildren may have a better understanding of technology than you do. But that doesn't mean you can't bond over the latest apps, software and devices. If you don't live near your grandchildren, set up weekly Skype chats so that you can stay in touch. It's easier to talk about finance if you have a close bond with your grandchildren.
Technology can also be a great way to teach kids about finances. Ask your grandchildren to install kid-friendly finance apps on their phones or tablets. Piggybot, Save! the Game, Savings Spree, and Allowance & Chores Bot can offer kids invaluable information. They can help them keep track of their savings account, learn the value of a job well done, and understand the importance of a rainy day fund.
If you want your grandchildren to learn from you, set a good financial example. By following the principles of budgeting and saving, your family will learn a lot about finances. Tell your grandkids stories about your best and worst financial decisions, from what you did when you got your first job to when you first opened a savings account. Kids are quick learners, and you're grandchildren’s are sure to learn a lot from your stories.
It's hard to resist spoiling your grandchildren, but being judicious about gift giving is a good way to show them the meaning of money. Instead of buying them a present every time you see them, stick to holidays and birthdays. If you do buy them impromptu gifts, make sure they appreciate the value of the gift. Even at a young age, it's important that kids don't lose sight of the value of money.
If your grandchildren don't yet have a bank account, helping them open one can be a great bonding activity. Studies have shown that teens with bank account have a better understand of money than those who don't.
Once they've opened a banking account, talk to them about how to use a checkbook, balance a budget, and other useful financial information. Have them download the app for their new bank, which will enable them to track their spending. If your grandchildren don't have enough money saved to open an account, it's okay to loan them a bit of money as long as they learn some important lessons about personal finance.
If you really want to help your grandchildren succeed, make sure you know what you're talking about. You may have balanced a checkbook for decades, but you may not know the latest ways to keep track of money. If you take the time to learn about the newest apps and update your financial knowledge for a younger generation, your grandchildren will surely appreciate your effort.
There are a many ways for you and your grandchildren to talk about finances, from trips to the grocery store to bonding over finance apps. Pick a few that you think would work with your grandchildren and don't be afraid to bring up the subject.