How to Raise Financially Empowered Children

How to Raise Financially Empowered Children

Do you ever catch yourself falling into negative financial habits that you learned from your parents? The truth is that the “money scripts” you use to make financial decisions as an adult are almost completely formed by age 7. So, some of the good and not-so-good habits you find yourself dealing with as an adult have likely been part of how you view money from the time you were a kid. So how do you raise financially empowered children?

Even though it’s not possible to go back in time and reverse the financial habits you learned from parents and mentors, it is possible to focus on raising your daughters and sons to be financially empowered and to focus on positive money habits. There’s no “perfect” way to teach your kids about money, but there are a few things you can start implementing today to make financial conversations easier, and even exciting, for your kids.  

Be Open With Your Children

The first and most important piece of advice I give my clients who are parents is to be – and stay – open when you talk about money. This means having honest conversations about financial “wins” and mistakes with your children, your partner, and the other people in your life. The more you can focus on taking the negative stigma away from money, the more you’re showing your children that financial conversations aren’t something to be ashamed of, or shy away from. 

An easy way to start this is by having family meetings about spending, or how you can align your spending with your family values. Giving your children some say in where funds that have been earmarked for charity go, or discussing how some “extra” expenses will have to be carved out of the family budget if you all want to spend the time and resources to have a fun family vacation, can help them to start understanding the importance of open communication. 

Of course, make sure the conversations you’re having are age-appropriate. Talking to your four-year-old about the fear you feel about retirement savings or your student loans may not be the best move, but walking them through budgeting basics and values-based spending absolutely makes sense. 

Address Gender Stereotypes

You can also help your kids to understand gender stereotypes, and how they may or may not be helpful. Talking to both your daughters and sons about how generalizing that “women are bad at math” or “men go to work and make money for the family” can hurt others and themselves is important. 

Daughters need to understand their worth and earning potential, while sons need to understand to respect women and that they don’t need to carry the full weight of “providing” on their shoulders. If these conversations are uncomfortable, that’s okay. Talking about stereotypes and discrimination is never comfortable, but it’s critical that we as parents can show our kids that these stereotypes are real and may impact how they interact with the world someday. 

Model and Celebrate Equality Whenever Possible

In your family, it’s important to model and celebrate equality. The more your children can see you and your spouse or partner treating each other with mutual respect in finances and in life, and treating others in the same way, the more they’ll be likely to model that behavior. This might look like:

  • Talking openly about finances being a shared resource
  • Discussing opinions about money honestly with one another and with your kids
  • Treating members of a minority community financially equally
  • Focusing on avoiding gender-based assumptions that your kids may pick up on
  • Showing your kids that both you and your spouse or partner contribute to the family – financially and otherwise
  • Having equal money rewards or rules for each of your kids

It’s tough to address our own biases, but thinking about how you can intentionally model equality in your day-to-day helps you to raise children who view financial equality as the norm. Taking it to the next level by celebrating equality in your home or workplace, and letting your kids see that, reinforces equality and inclusion as a positive behavior for them to emulate.

Ask Your Children Questions

Let’s get real – as a kid, money can be super fun. They don’t have bills, debt, or the stress of whether or not a trip home to visit family for the holidays is a more important budget line-item than a much-needed getaway with your spouse in January. Nope, kids get all of the fun parts of personal finances without a lot of the extra anxiety that adulthood brings to the table. 

So, during this season where money is still exciting and fun, focus on making it a learning experience for your kids. The easiest way to do this is to ask questions about money often. You don’t have to force the conversation, but working financial questions into your regular conversation with your kids can be a huge help. A few questions you might want to ask them are:

  • Why is that purchase (new toy, gumball, etc.) important to you?
  • Where would you like to give your “donate” funds?
  • What’s more exciting for you (when presented with two spending options)?
  • What are you saving for? Why?
  • What would you do with $100?
  • How do you want to budget your money?
  • Where does money come from?
  • How do you want to earn money? 
  • What chores do you think are worth more in your allowance? Why?

Pushing them to think more deeply about their finances can open up a lot of fun conversations about money, work, and life. You might be surprised by some of their answers!

Empower Them to Make Financial Decisions

Making all of the financial decisions your kids will face for them robs them of the chance to learn, or to have the exciting feeling of making a choice about their own money. Focus on big and small ways that you can empower them to make their own financial decisions. The more they practice this now, the more likely they’ll continue to make positive, values-based decisions in the future as adults.

Some decisions you might let them make on their own are:

  • What they want to use their allowance for
  • How they want to budget between spending, saving, and giving
  • Where they want to give their money (if that’s part of their budget)
  • What they’d like to ask for birthday or holiday gifts
  • What type of gifts they’d like to purchase for others

As your children get older, they can be given more and more decision-making power. As they keep growing, you’re going to run into situations where they make mistakes – or where their decision doesn’t match the same one you’d make as their parent. 

In these situations, it’s important to approach your kids with curiosity – no matter how old they are. Work to get a deeper understanding of what’s motivating their decisions, and talk to them about balancing immediate wants (like impulse purchases) with long-term benefits (like saving for the toy they actually want that’s a little more expensive). 

Celebrate Your Children’s Wins and Guide Them Through Learning Experiences

Do you ever wish someone was there to celebrate you every time you hit a savings goal (besides your financial planner, of course)? How about when you knock out a big chunk of your debt? Positive reinforcement and affirmation that we’re having financial success is a really empowering and motivating thing. If you want your kids to continue making exceptional decisions with their money, celebrate their wins! Talk to them about how proud you are of them, or how excited you are about the recent success they’ve had.

On the other side of the coin, don’t hesitate to address any money mistakes they may make. Talk about these mistakes as learning experiences, not moments to feel shame or hide from others. The more you can empower your kids to view financial mistakes on a small scale as something to learn from, the more likely they are to move on from big financial mistakes in their adult lives feeling stronger and better equipped to avoid similar pitfalls in the future. 

Teaching your children about money is incredibly challenging, but so worth it. If you ever have questions about how to have age-appropriate and empowering conversations with both your daughters and your sons, our team is happy to share our own experiences and what’s worked for our families. Reach out by clicking here! We’d love to hear from you.

Episode 85: Finding the Right Financial Advisor for You with Anjali Jariwala

Episode 85: Finding the Right Financial Advisor for You with Anjali Jariwala

Behavioral Finance
Behavioral Finance
Episode 85: Finding the Right Financial Advisor for You with Anjali Jariwala
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This week I sat down with fellow financial planner and CPA, Anjali Jariwala to discuss how to figure out how to find the right financial advisor for you.

Anjali Jariwala CPA, CFP® founded FIT Advisors to save her clients time and help guide them to better financial decisions. As a mom, business owner and wife of a physician, she understands the opportunities as well as challenges that young professionals face. Whether you’re running a medical practice, looking at your first job or navigating money conversations in a new marriage – she knows your home life and financial future is not the average juggling act. Anjali believes in a more hands-on advising approach – we pull all the pieces together to provide you with peace of mind.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • Questions that come up around hiring a financial planner
  • Barriers people put up for not hiring a financial planner
  • How to address the emotional side of money
  • How a financial planner can provide a safe space to talk about your money
  • Important items to look for when searching for a financial planner
  • Fiduciary explained and why your financial advisor should be in this category
  • Fee-only versus fee-based financial planners
  • A few things to consider when finding the right fit for your financial planner
  • How comfort and the ability to relate can be crucial for picking your financial planner
  • Why your financial planner shouldn’t be afraid to have the tough conversations with you
  • Why you may not get the sample plan you ask for when interviewing a financial planner
  • The questions you SHOULD be asking instead
  • The peace of mind a financial planner can bring to your life
  • The fees discussed and the value that you get
  • Why fees will be different when comparing financial planners
  • Different options to pay your financial planner to make it work best for you
  • The challenges and pitfalls you might run into down the “do it yourself” route

GET SOCIAL WITH ANJALI AND LET HER KNOW YOU HEARD ABOUT HER HERE

ENJOY THE SHOW?

Episode 81: Creating a Reverse Bucket List and Celebrating Your Wins

Episode 81: Creating a Reverse Bucket List and Celebrating Your Wins

Goal Planning
Goal Planning
Episode 81: Creating a Reverse Bucket List and Celebrating Your Wins
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What’s on your reverse bucket list?

Taking time to celebrate wins is an important step in growing personally and professionally. Creating a reverse bucket list can assist in celebrating those wins. In today’s episode I talk about the importance of pausing to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and how to create a bucket list to help you do just that. In a time when all we hear about is the “hustle” and working towards our next goal, it’s also very impactful to pause and appreciate what we’ve already achieved.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • What a reverse bucket list is and the idea behind creating one
  • The impact grateful recounting can have in your life
  • Why it can be so challenge to speak about or even create your list
  • How applying a reverse bucket list in a group setting can be beneficial
  • Questions to ask yourself to help create a list that feels reflective of your achievements
  • How to stay grounded and present in our lives
  • The why behind celebrating your wins with other people
  • The importance of celebrating other people’s wins with them
  • The power living in the present can have on your future goals
  • How to know what should go on your list
  • How often you should be celebrating your wins
  • TAKE TIME TO CELEBRATE!

LINKS WE MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

LET’S CONNECT!

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Episode 81: Creating a Reverse Bucket List and Celebrating Your Wins

Episode 39: How We Handle Business Finances in Our Marriage (and What You Should Do)

Ask Mary Beth
Ask Mary Beth
Episode 39: How We Handle Business Finances in Our Marriage (and What You Should Do)
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One of the fun parts of being a financial planner is getting to field and answer questions from clients and readers all around the country. In these Work Your Wealth episodes I’ll be taking time to address and answer questions I’ve come across from readers and clients throughout my career. On today’s episode, I welcomed back my favorite guest to help me answer some of of your money questions. Today Brian Storjohann (yep, my hubby) and I are diving in to tell you about how we handle and address my business (and the finances behind it) in our marriage.

We recorded this episode live from the FinCon booth at Podcast Movement, which means I actually let him sit next to me for this conversation! (Progress!!)

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • How much of the numbers I share (and you should share) around your business finances with your spouse
  • How your business finances relate to and are intertwined with personal finances and goals
  • Ways to address the unease that can come with sharing business finances
  • How to structure conversations so there is no finger pointing or guilt around business success or hiccups
  • Why planning for your personal finances plays a big role in the success of your business
  • How we set income goals for the business(both individually and as a couple)
  • The dollar limit of business purchases that I share with Brian
  • How to plan in advance of business launches and investments to reduce stress
  • Why it is super important to share with your spouse when there are excess funds in the business
  • How sharing business numbers helps your spouse to better support you
  • How often we review numbers and how formal the conversation is
  • Expectations around how long it took for us to communicate effectively around our finances

 

LINKS MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

LET’S CONNECT!

ENJOY THE SHOW?

Episode 81: Creating a Reverse Bucket List and Celebrating Your Wins

Episode 30: Our Money Story (the Good, the Bad & the Funny)

Ask Mary Beth
Ask Mary Beth
Episode 30: Our Money Story (the Good, the Bad & the Funny)
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One of the fun parts of being a financial planner is getting to field and answer questions from clients and readers all around the country. In these Work Your Wealth episodes I’ll be taking time to address and answer questions I’ve come across from readers and clients throughout my career. On today’s episode, I have a super fun guest to help me answer some of of your money questions. Today Brian Storjohann (yep, my hubby) and I are diving in to tell you about the emotions, stories and good and bad money moves behind our finances.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • The number one thing you need for a healthy money relationship with your partner
  • How your personal and marital money relationship can evolve
  • The biggest thing the two of us have had to work on when it come to our finances
  • His and hers versions of our smartest money moves
  • Where we wasted a ton of money
  • What lifestyle inflation is and why you want to avoid it
  • The biggest point of contention around our finances
  • Why financial planners need their own financial planners
  • The role psychology plays in handling money
  • How we make budgeting work in our household
  • What not to do when facing down big life transitions (and what to do)
  • Why nobody is perfect when it comes to their finances

LINKS MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

LET’S CONNECT!

ENJOY THE SHOW?