There are times as a parent when you look forward to the day your children head off into the world to make their own way. When that day comes, it often comes with worries about how your children will cope with life as adults, and in particular whether they will succeed financially. Here are three basic principles to teach your children before they leave home.
- Set a limit for spending on non-essentials. Money that we spend falls into two basic categories: what we spend on essentials (things we need, like housing and food) and what we spend on non-essentials (things we want but don’t really need, such as dining out or movies). The best way to keep a limit on spending on non-essentials is to have a separate bank account for it. Each week transfer a set amount into that account and keep your spending within that limit
- Put aside money for unexpected expenses. There are some essential expenses that occur infrequently, perhaps only a few times a year. Often these expenses are unexpected, such as medical or dental costs, or car repairs. Spending all your income every week means you won’t have money on hand to cover these costs. Transfer money each pay day into a savings account to cover unexpected expenses.
- Stay out of debt. By following the two principles above, you should avoid being forced into debt to cover essential spending. The worst kind of debt is money borrowed to buy non-essentials such as new furniture, televisions and computers. This kind of debt is usually short term with high interest rates and the high repayments can prevent you from being able to set aside money for unexpected expenses.
Encouraging your children to use these principles should set them on the path to financial success.