Setting up your children for financial success
With the cost of living and education on an upward trajectory, you might find your adult children are lingering in the homestead for a little longer than you expected.
And if you’re continuing to support them beyond 18, they may lose out on the chance to learn how to manage their own finances.
Perhaps you’ve been teaching them about money since they were very young; but there are still tips and tricks you can impart to help your adult kids reach financial success – or, at the very least, stability.
Budgeting and wise spending
The most basic financial advice you can offer your children is to teach them how to budget. If you offer them financial support whilst at university or living at home, don’t give them a lump sum that needs to last a term, or a year. Instead, send them a monthly stipend. This mimics the frequency of salary payments, so your children learn that this amount of money will last them a month. By the time they graduate or leave home, they’ll be a dab hand at making their money last.
It’s also important to teach your kids how to spend wisely. As early as possible, try to instil the basic principle: never spend more than you earn. Take them supermarket shopping, for instance, and challenge them to buy your shopping list without spending more than a specified amount. You’ll soon see them wandering around the ‘reduced’ aisle looking for bargains.
Saving may seem easy for people who’ve been at it for years; but for young adult children, practicing restraint can be hard when there are seemingly so many good things you could be spending it on. Start encouraging your kids to set aside a particular sum every month in a savings account; open an ISA in their name as early as possible to start racking up tax free savings.
As long as your children don’t spend more than they earn, avoiding debt will be simple. But if your child feels cash-strapped, and your financial help and a job aren’t fulfilling their projected financial needs, then the lure of credit cards and loans can be attractive.
If you’ve had a bad experience with debt, now’s the time to share it with your children and hope that they learn from your mistakes. If they’re thinking about applying for a credit card, help them look for interest-free deals. Encourage them to pay off their balance in full every month to avoid incurring charges when the interest-free period is over, or to look for balance transfer deals with another lender.
Looking for financial help
Even if your child is financially savvy and stable, with help from you and a job to support them, they still may not have enough money to cover the cost of education. In these instances, they may be able to apply for financial aid or a grant from their educational institution. Applications aren’t always successful, but when they are they can provide some much needed financial help just when your child needs it most.
How do you set your children up for financial success?