Awkward Question: Family values

How to teach youngsters the value of a dollar.



From the December/January 2013 issue of the magazine.


piggy_bank_blues_322Q: My sister is terrible with her finances and isn’t teaching her kids anything about saving or managing money. What can I do to help my nieces understand the value of money? — B.L., EDMONTON

A: Tread carefully here—your sister may not respond well to dinnertime lectures about finance. Instead, set up a savings plan that teaches your nieces how to grow their money. For older kids, starting a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a good idea, says Kira Vermond, author of The Secret Life of Money: A Kid’s Guide to Cash. Younger kids need shorter goals, like saving for a new bike. Just be sure to swing a deal along the lines of, “For every dollar you save, I’ll match it.” That way the child will work with you toward the goal and won’t see your contribution as free cash. “That’s not exactly the message you want to send,” says Vermond, “particularly if they’re not getting good financial guidance at home.”

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One comment on “Awkward Question: Family values

  1. Buy your nieces savings bonds for Christmas. My Mom bought each of us kids bonds when she inherited a small sum of money. She gave them to us on our 18th birthday. That was just months before I left home for University and the bond did help out.

    Piggbanks are also great gifts for kids. Then on subsequent occasions, include a loonie/twonie with your card and suggest to them to put it in their bank. If you make it special and a fun thing to do he kids will respond to it.


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