This post is featured on behalf of Stacey White.


Has any generation endured more crass stereotyping by its elders than the millennial generation. You’d really think all those baby boomers who got such a hard time from their parents for their long hair and obsession with The Doors would have cut us some slack. Instead, many ended up echoing the sentiments of their elders, making unfair assessments of following generations who did not have the same economic advantages. Indeed, many of the common criticisms leveled at ‘80s and ‘90s kids simply don’t bear scrutiny. We’re not lazy or frivolous, and the reason we can’t afford a home of our own is certainly not because of our obsession with avocado toast.

In an uncertain economy, who knows what the financial future will look like for our kids. Yet, perhaps the best way to prepare them for the caprices of the economy while showing the world that millennials are pretty adept at money management thank you very much, is by raising our kids with a healthy appreciation of money. Let’s ensure that Generation Z doesn’t have to labor under the same misconceptions as us. Here are some ways in which you can start…

1. Get back into the habit of using cash. 

The idea of a transaction is ordinary enough to us but kids need to be shown how money can be exchanged for goods and services. And that’s hard to demonstrate by waving an iPhone at a reader.

Get back into the habit of using cash and let them look at and handle money. This will help them to develop a healthy understanding and respect of the value of money and thus the value of the things we buy as well as the cost. If kids grow up knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing they can develop poor financial habits.

2. Encourage them to save.

Most of us had a piggy bank while we were growing up, but in the digital age there are so many more ways in which we can help our kids to save for their future.

Take Goalsetter, for example; it’s like a bank account for kids. You can create monetary goals which you can save for and which friends and family can pay into. Over time you can show them how the money donated is going to help them to accomplish their goals.

When your kids are old enough to start getting their own pocket money (even as young as 4 or 5 is totally appropriate), try to get them to focus on saving for what they really want instead of blowing their allowance on things like sweets.

3. Be honest and open about the family finances.

Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Being totally honest and transparent about the family finances won’t go over their heads. If anything it will help them understand that when they want something which the family can’t afford they’ll know that you’re not just being mean by saying no.

When our kids grow up money smart they’ll be able to face an uncertain economic future with aplomb.

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