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Money Management: Begin the Conversation

Nicole Kruse, AEI Coach

Last Friday, during the busy hustle and bustle in the hallway before AMP began, I overheard a father ask his son if he wanted to put his change back into his bank. I immediately turned around. These are the moments I live for. I bent down and asked the young man, who must have been around five or six and was getting ready to enjoy a donut from the Bear's Cafe, if he had paid for his donut out of his own money. He very proudly told me yes. I then went on to ask how he had earned the money, and he very matter-of-factly told me that he does chores around the house. He proceeded to tell me that donuts were only a $1.00, so he still had $4.00 left! I shared with him that I was super proud of him for using his own money to make the purchase, and he left with a grin on his face.

As proud of him as I am, I'm even prouder of his parents. His parents are doing a service for that young man that is far greater than the $1.00 he paid for that donut. By allowing a young child to earn real, tangible money and make authentic decisions on how to spend it, they are teaching him something that many adults were never taught – how to handle their money.

Sure, your sons and daughters are learning about how to manage their money here at Aspen Academy on Money Mondays and Finance Fridays, but unless we are consistent between home and school, the lessons your children learn at school will be for naught; if everything is handed to them and no conversation ensues about where this money comes from, the lessons they learn will be meaningless. The parents of this young man get it. They know that what their son learns at school is an extension of what he learns at home – and vice versa. If you haven't begun those conversations or chores or real-life financial talks, now is as good a time as any.

Ask your children what they learned about this week in Money Monday or Finance Friday. Ask them what job they have, how much they are getting paid, if they think it's a fair amount to get paid for the job they're doing, what they spent their money on at the market or auction, why they chose to save their money, or how much money they have in their bank at school. They are having these conversations at school. Have them at home, too.

Ask them if they want to earn money at home, what they think they could do to earn money, how they would spend their money, if they want to open a savings account, or if they want to help you budget for your next vacation.

If you have no idea where to start, start here. I am happy to help you!

Below you'll find an article on what you can do at home to help your kids handle money. Thanks for reading!