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5 Things That You Wish You Learned At An Early Age

By Mark Riddix

I recently wrote a post about the best financial advice from your parents. These topics ranged from getting out of debt to buying a home. Well, today I want to take a look at some of the things that you wish that you learned at an early age. This could range from learning about personal finance to investing in the stock market. All of these topics should be covered from elementary school through the collegiate years. At Money Crashers, we’re big advocates of financial education, and we believe that it should be a much bigger part of our educational curriculum at a young age. Here are 5 things that every person should learn as a kid:

Financial Literacy

The first place where kids should be exposed to financial matters is in the home. The second place is in the school system. Imagine if schools taught students how to save money at a young age. Elementary and middle school students could be taught how to manage their allowances and save money for purchases that they would like to make. They could learn the ins and outs of budgeting, saving, investing, and money management. Educational institutions are the perfect environment to school children in the principles of personal finance.

Investing

It’s never too early to teach your kids about the stock market. They can learn about investing in stocks and stock funds. Warren Buffett bought his first stock at the age of 11. He bought 3 shares of Cities Service Preferred for $38 per share. Explain to them how companies make money by selling products. They can buy a share of their favorite company and keep track of how it does from time to time. This is a great way to get kids interested in learning about investing.

Learning The Value of A Dollar

Parents often accuse kids of believing that money really grows on trees. Kids can get a laissez faire attitude about money and not know how hard you work to make it. It would be wise to teach your kids the value of a dollar at an early age. Any time that they want to buy an extra item you could have them do a chore or odd job around the house. They should learn that there is a cost involved anytime that they want to purchase an item.

Starting A Business

If your child has an interest in a certain area, they could parlay that into a business venture. You can teach your child how to earn money by starting their own company. There are more and more teens becoming millionaires everyday from starting their own businesses. They are building fortunes from website design, creating clothing apparel, developing food products, and making toys. Who knows, the next titan of industry may be living in your house!

Banking Basics

Most Americans don’t have enough money in their savings accounts to make it more than a month without a paycheck. This disturbing trend can be reversed by teaching kids the value of saving. Kids can learn how banks work and the different products that they offer. They can learn the differences between a savings account, money market account, and CD. These investing tools are some of the safest investments for their money so there is not a lot of risk involved either. Also, they can learn how to balance a checkbook, track expenses, and handle a debit card, all of which are valuable things to learn before leaving for college. It is these types of lessons that can and will be used throughout their adult lives.

These are just 5 great examples of things that, if everyone was taught them at an early age, our society would be much more financially fit. Do you have any additional areas that you think should be part of every child’s education whether it be in the home or at school?

(Photo credit: GoodNCrazy)

Mark Riddix
Mark Riddix is the founder and president of an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers and is the author of the book, Your Financial Playbook.

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Comments

  • Olivia

    Thank you.

  • Kira

    A lot of people are shocked at a) how much money is taken out of your paycheck before you get it and b) how much money it actually takes to run a house. Kids think their parents are millionaires if they have more than three dollars in their wallet, but exposing them to how much the utilities cost and the price of fixing the water heater helps avoid the sticker shock when they are in their own apartment.

    • Mark Riddix

      Good points Kira.

  • http://www.money-and-kids.com/ Brad Castro

    Great post.

    Without a doubt, what I wish I’d learned most growing up is the power of investing (and reinvesting) in high quality dividend growth companies. I know now what I really wish I’d gotten for all those birthdays and Christmases – shares of McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and so forth.

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