April is over. That means Financial Literacy Month is over too. Let’s hope the conversations linger though. Make thoughtful money conversations with your kids an ongoing activity.
Why? As Ben Franklin said:
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Looking for some fresh conversation starters? Here are the ten most popular topics from Family Finance Favs last month:
- Teach Kids How To Catch Phish — When it comes to communicating about sensitive financial information, make sure your kids are the ones casting the line, not the ones taking the bait.
- Teach Teens What a W-4 Is For — If your teen never learns how a W-4 works, that first tax season away from the nest could end with a very unpleasant surprise. Teach your teen this W-4 limerick to avert disaster.
- Ask 4 Questions To Avoid Overspending On Your Kids — If you’re spending too much money on your kids, you may end up having to move in with them someday. Four questions to ponder.
- Tell Kids Why They Should Care About Money — Money can’t buy love, luck, happiness, or meaning. So why should your kids care about money? Here are four reasons you’ll want to discuss. Often.
- Teach Teens How Progressive Tax Rates Work — Most teens have no idea how a progressive tax schedule like the one in the U.S. works. If you’re in the 25% tax bracket, you pay 25%, right? Nope. Teach your teen how it works with this simple example.
- Don’t Protect Your Kids From Magic Money — Many kids think cards and electronic payment are “magic” money. Why wait to dispel the magic until young adulthood? Their ignorance could be a financial curse.
- Don’t Leave Teens Wondering “What The FICA?” — 4 things to teach your teens about FICA so their first encounter isn’t an unpleasant surprise.
- 7 Reasons Part Time Work Makes Sense For Your Full Time Student — It’s a shame that fewer and fewer students are holding down part time jobs while in school. Here’s why we should change that.
- Teach Kids That Looking Rich Can Make You Poor — Who’s the real imposter? The modest looking millionaire or the bling laden borrower? Perhaps both, but only one is truly happy. Teach your kid the difference.
- Sketch The Lifetime Value Of Your Kid’s Next Purchase — Teach your kids to evaluate the lifetime value of their purchases. Fancy wants can have much lower lifetime value than useful needs.
Worried that too many of these conversations will make your kids fixated on making money? Don’t. Keep in mind this astute observation by Ron Lieber:
Every conversation about money is also about values.
I’m quite confident you won’t look back someday and lament spending too much time discussing values with your kids.