Q: 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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