Mom’s Top Gift? Money-Smart Kids

While your mother most certainly appreciated any gift she received this Mother’s Day, her favorite gift may be children that are smart with money.

Flowers and candy are a nice treat for a few days, but mothers across the nation are concerned about their children’s long-term financial future. Only one-third of mothers believe their children 18 and under are well prepared to handle their own finances in adulthood, according to a new study conducted by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union.

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Some 300 mothers were surveyed and a large number of them think their children have some work to do when it comes to employment and college. Nearly half believe their children are unprepared to get a job, while 44 percent say their children will not be able to finance college. Furthermore, one-third believe their children are “not at all prepared” to save money or to live on their own.

The results are part of the reason why Shawn Gilfedder, president and chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, has a mission to enhance “financial wellness.”

“The benefits of teaching your children about money management can lead to a lifetime of good financial decisions,” says Gilfedder. “Teaching by example is a good place to start.”

He also suggests that parents include kids in regular financial activities such as household budgeting, grocery shopping, and reading bills or statements.

McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union also has the following tips to help prepare children for their future financial endeavors:

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  • Allowance for kids of all ages. It is not usually a lot of money, but it allows children to learn more about what things truly cost in reality. Nothing makes children appreciate money more than earning their own. It does not take them long to realize that money is much easier to spend than it is to earn.
  • Talk about money. Kids are interested in this topic! Share basic lessons on budgeting; banking and saving with “real world” examples such as when you make a major purchase, use a credit card, or pay bills or take money out of an ATM.
  • Teach them to budget. When they want to buy something special, give them the tools to earn the money, save the money and make compromises along the way so they have the money when they want to spend it.

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