Teaching your children about spending wisely

Regardless of your family’s financial situation, your children, no matter their ages, will be paying attention to and learning from your spending habits.

At least some, if not many, of your attitudes and patterns regarding how you spend money will be adopted by your children — even if you don’t want them to.

Discussing spending habits with your family may be helpful as you approach your financial goals for the New Year.

ACTION IDEAS: • Think about how you spent money this week. Consider how your children could be perceiving your actions. Our kids are watching how we deal with money even if they don’t let us know they are paying attention.

• Look for opportunities to share information with each child about the purchasing decisions you are making. If you are buying a used car, this may be an opportunity to let them know what you are thinking, and how and why you are making the decision. A generation ago, parents typically didn’t do this much. Do you think this type of information would have been helpful to you?

• Help your children practice making spending decisions. Take them to the grocery store and have them work through comparison shopping with you. Give them a budget to re-decorate a room. Let older children help plan and budget for vacation. Let mistakes and consequences happen if appropriate. Mistakes are sometimes our best teachers.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.

For more information, or to join local conversations, contact

Mick Trombley at

David Eggebeen at

Robert Orndorff at

Marc McCann at 237-1719 or