Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

April 6, 2014

OUR VIEW: Parents, let's talk about money

There are many talks that parents need to have with their children. They talk about bullying at school and talk about drugs. And of course, there’s the always-dreaded “birds and the bees” talk.

But there’s a talk that many parents gloss over. And it’s one that carries as much importance as the other talks because it’s a subject that will follow them their entire lives. In fact, it’s something they will never escape. We’re talking about the money talk.

At the risk of sounding like the neighborhood curmudgeon, kids need to learn that money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s a lesson that needs to start at home.

What better time to have the talk than National Financial Literacy Month. It’s a time set aside that’s devoted to encouraging parents to teach their children about money.

This month, Secretary of State Connie Lawson is on a mission. She understands that teaching children about finances gives them a strong foundation to understand how to use money and credit wisely. Having these skills will likely lesson the stress of financial burdens as they become adults.

Most adults report they learned their financial skills from their parents or were self-taught, but only 26 percent of 13-21 year olds surveyed said their parents taught them how to manage money.

Forty-one percent of U.S. adults — more than 92 million people living in America — gave themselves a grade of C, D or F on their knowledge of personal finance. That’s a scary number.

“We must teach our children about money so they understand saving, investing and credit,” she said. “Financial literacy empowers them to make wise choices when spending their hard-earned money, improves their quality of life and enables them to meet their financial goals as adults.”

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