Teach Your Kids about Life And Money

Teaching Kids About Money And Life. Many clients come to me in their twenties and thirties who have debt problems that stretch back to when they were 18 or younger. They have felt frightened and embarrassed for years carrying this debt and, finally, the debt collectors have come and are suing them, and it is time to do a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to clean things up.

I think a possible solution to this problem is to educate our kids at an early age about money and debt so they don’t get trapped by the banks’ and society’s constant message of getting more, buying more, spending more, and BORROWING more permeating advertising and giving kids the wrong message. “Buy this now, worry about paying for it later”, is what they are taught from media.

This message is so ingrained that at college registrations, there are tables set us by VISA and all the others offering credit cards to kids who don’t even have a job! This is in addition to student loans which many people need to get an education.

I think, as parents, we can do something to help kids to not fall into this trap. Take them with you when you buy a new car, and have them sit with you in the finance office and explain exactly how the car deal works. Give them an allowance, even a small one, which they earn by doing chores—no chores-no allowance. Show them what costs what when you are paying monthly bills.

I once was asked to teach a workshop for high school kids about bankruptcy and realized that the kids knew nothing about the implications of debt on their futures.

I thought at the time how there should be a class that all juniors in high school take similar to the board game “Life”. At the beginning of the semester, each kid would randomly be assigned a job, a family size, a rent and car payment, and there could be exercises in buying a car, changing jobs, dealing with the financial consequences of life changes such as health problems and divorce. Make it a game, and in the end, their grade would be based on how they survived the financial challenges they will face upon becoming adults.

If you are overwhelmed by debt, call me to discuss fixing the problem with Chapter 7 bankruptcy for a fresh financial start. Include your kids in the process (which many clients do) to show them how they might avoid financial problems themselves in the future.

If you want to talk to me about any of the ideas set forth in this blog, call me, Peter Milwid, 303-831-0733.

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