A cruise mailer has arrived at our house. It is filled with images of families having adventures in gorgeous locations. My son is enthralled. He is staring at the circular while he is supposed to be eating breakfast. Finally, he asks if we can go on another cruise.
Since we don't have to be at camp for a while, I sit down with him and show him the costs outlined on the brochure and have him add up the sums and then explain that it doesn't include all the additional adventures that he is looking at. The amount of money looks impossible to him, but I explain to him that if we really wanted to do that we would need to budget and save.
He seems satisfied with all of this and I am pleased that I am meeting my goal to talk to him more about money.
It's an ongoing struggle for parents to teach their children financial literacy. We give allowances, we talk about savings and we give math lessons about vacations. It's hard to remember (or find the time!) for these teachable moments. So although I hate to add another item to the list: We should also consider sharing our financial mistakes.
That one seems harder to me. No one likes recounting their mistakes, especially financial ones, but I get the point. If I can tell my son about some real dumb things I did with my money when I first started out, maybe he won't have to learn those lessons the hard way.
All of this just reminds me that like the sex talk, money is an ongoing conversation.
What do you want your children to learn about money? Tell me in the comments.