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Funding Your Future

How to Teach Your Kids About Financial Responsibility During the Pandemic

Tiffany Aliche

Financial Wellness Expert and Author

Helping people plan for the future is all in a day’s work for Tiffany Aliche. Known as “The Budgetnista,” Aliche is dedicated to providing the tools and resources needed to assist moms and dads in getting their children on the right financial track.

“It’s a good time to talk to older children about how these are serious times,”explains Aliche. “Maybe tell them ‘A lot of people are going to lose their jobs. If that were to happen, here are some of the things we’ll have in place. We might have to cut off cable or ask you guys to really remember to turn off the lights or turn on the egg timer for showers.’ The key is tolerance, and it’s always solution based.”

Make it relatable

“I think it’s really important that kids know they can play a role, but you must also realize they are never going to care about your bills, but things they can enjoy,” says Aliche. 

Something as simple as allowing them to select a favorite snack can get the point across.

“With children, you need to tie it into what’s important to them. You know, things like saving for vacation, more screen time, or fewer chores.”

No time like the present

For parents wanting their kids to understand financial topics that will prepare them for the real world, now is the ideal time, because youngsters are home all day.

“Depending on the age of your child, it might be a good time to talk about the amount of money being brought into the household,” says Aliche, adding that you should set the right tone and never inject fear.

It’s also helpful for kids to work for the money they earn, whether giving them actual cash, Monopoly dollars, or having them earn points for doing chores. In addition, there should be separate containers for spending, saving, and giving. 

Aliche, who taught preschool for a decade, also suggests educators use Zoom or UberConference to help children learn math skills, for example, while unable to attend traditional classes. Making videos can be effective as well.

The secret to success

To learn financial responsibility, there are four questions the younger generation should ask, according to Aliche. 

“Do I need it? Do I love it? Do I like it? Do I want it?” she says. “You want to start teaching older children to prioritize. Even if they don’t get it right at first, they’ll think twice and, next time, make a better choice.”

In order to navigate these trying financial times, Aliche believes knowledge, access, and community are also crucial.

“Connect with these, as they relate to personal finance. Facebook groups should be everyone’s friend. You need a space and a place you can reference questions. What are people saying and feeling?”

Know what’s available

Parents can set a good example for kids by taking advantage of free services.

There are classes available online at no cost, teaching how to buy stocks in a down market and ways to make money from home. You can find tips on how to budget and save during a recession and seek advice on managing emotional wellness during a crisis. 

Aliche stresses that reaching out to others is critical during the pandemic.

“People feel they’re so alone, they’re the only ones struggling, and that’s not true.” 

Her Dream Catchers: Live Richer with The Budgetnista Facebook page is one source of inspiration.

“There are 400,000 women in that group, and 24 hours a day, we help each other.”

She adds, “Instagram and Twitter are cool, but they’re not community.”

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