“Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience.” P.T Barnum

As George Bernard Shaw said; youth is wasted on the young. Many have taken it a little further and suggested that wisdom is wasted on the old. But what if we could share the wisdom of the old with the vivacity of the young? Then hopefully, neither youth nor experience will be wasted.

Wishing for more money is a common sentiment among us all, daydreaming about what we would do if we simply had ‘all the money in the world’. But the problem with having more money is that we run the risk of devaluing experiences, people and assets that once held great value for us.

PT Barnum spells this out when talking about money. It’s a useless tool unless we know its value, and we can only see the value once we’ve had time to earn, spend, save, and invest it. This takes time and it’s something that many adults have had many opportunities to do. Kids, on the other hand, haven’t had as much time or opportunity.

As mentors of future generations, one of our goals is to prepare them to not only cope in the ‘real world’, but to thrive!

Much of this can be done by having intentional conversations with our kids about their money – not only how they earn and use their money but also how we earn and use ours. 

“Kids today think that credit or debit cards are magic,” says financial journalist and author Beth Kobliner. “You get to the store, you swipe, and you magically get things.” In previous generations, there was much more tangibility around managing money: bills were often paid by check, money had to be drawn at the bank and cash was the primary method of payment for daily expenses. Children would see their parents working with money.

With digital platforms, there is a considerable disconnection from our money. Talking about money with our kids is really important to reconnect us to our money and the money we need to finance our lifestyles.

Here are some ways to approach conversations with our kids about money:

  1. Keep it age-appropriate.
  2. Talk about money as a family. 
  3. Present a unified front. 
  4. Don’t express overwhelming fears about money.

Ultimately, we want to convey messages that speak to things like wants vs needs, delayed gratification and the value of working to earn our money. These messages help connect the quantity of money to value and meaning. Not being able to have what you want, when you want it (delayed gratification) builds a sense of value. Understanding if something is a want or a need, helps us equate different levels of value, and, being able to work for our money makes it much more personal.

At WellsFaber, it’s important to us that you feel comfortable having these conversations with your kids. If you need any help or pointers – please feel free to chat with us; let’s see how we can help you and your family thrive!