As a mom, you always want the best for your children. But if your own money management skills are limited, that's unfortunately what you are teaching them. Do you carry too much debt? Are you worried about not having enough money for their college education? Do you find yourself with no money at the end of the month? Thankfully, it's never too late to learn about healthy financial habits, so go ahead and start now – as a family – with these strategies.
Talk money at the table and keep the financial conversation going. Many parents, including mine, never talk about money matters with their children. But this only makes it harder for kids to understand how finances work. Whenever you have to make a financial decision, get your children involved! Let them know what you are trying to accomplish and how you are planning to do it. They might even have some good ideas to help you reach your goals.
Make a weekly grocery budget with your children and then go shopping together, with your list (and coupons, if you have them!). Everyone will work together to ensure that you stick to the budget.
Review your household expenses together. You can collectively decide what expenses can be cut and where you could save some extra money. Set a family financial goal, even a small one, and regularly check in together on your progress.
Learn a new financial concept every week and implement in your own financial plans. Parents can set up a regular time to learn about money and financial topics with their kids. There are many websites that can serve as a guide, such as The Council for Economic Education or the National Financial Educators Council. Even though these are designed to help teachers instruct students about financial basics, the curriculum is easy to follow and both parents and kids can learn together about saving, investing, planning for college, retirement, insurance and many other important financial topics.
Start contributing to a 529 plan. This is an excellent way to start saving, with tax benefits, for your kids' higher education costs. State Farm has more information on choosing a plan that fits your goals.
By overcoming your own financial literacy limitations, you can raise kids that are smart about managing their own money. Money habits should be developed at an early age – the sooner you start the better.
Yamila Constantino is a pioneer of financial education for Latinos. She is a member of the National Financial Educators Council Advisory Board and a winner of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce At the Table award for women entrepreneurs.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.