Every parent wants to raise their kids to be self-sufficient adults who feel empowered to achieve anything they want in life. One way to set children up for success is to be honest with them about financial topics and teach them money management skills starting at a young age.
The Early Years
When your kids are young, talk openly about money rather than painting it as a taboo subject. You may also choose to give them a weekly or monthly allowance so they have a hands-on way of learning about spending, budgeting and saving. Encouraging children to think carefully about their purchases can instill smart habits that will come in handy later on.
Leaving the Nest
College tuition is a major expense to plan for, so start discussing different strategies once your kids reach high school. Research scholarships together, learn about student loan options and be clear about what you will and won't help with. Graduating with as little debt as possible should be the goal, so if this means they'll...
Creating the perfect budgeting system isn’t easy, but the more you view money management as an ongoing practice rather than a yearly or quarterly event, the more likely you are to succeed.
Get started by outlining your current expenses as well as your short- and long-term goals and then consider embracing these three practical tips.
1. Adjust Your Mindset
Many people feel like they’re failing at budgeting if they fall short of a savings target or forget to log a few expenses. The reality is that your situation will always fluctuate, so instead of getting bogged down by dollars and cents, establish a realistic range for each spending category and strive for balance over time.
Occasionally you might miss your mark. Instead of feeling discouraged and giving up, keep focusing on your big picture goals -- like paying off your debt or building a retirement fund -- and allow for some flexibility to get there.
2. Identify Your Style
If the idea of opening...
Are you ready to become an ideal spender?
If you spend too much, you’ll find yourself in debt. Spend too little, and you’re not maximizing your financial potential. So how do you know if you’re spending just the right amount? And, if you need to make a change, how should you go about it?
If you have a significant revolving balance in your checking account, you might want to think about ways to make your money work harder. Adding just a few more dollars a week to your retirement fund or a high-interest savings account can yield greater benefits in the future.
Tip: Chronic underspenders may also simply be out of touch with their finances and thus unsure of what they can reasonably spend. Need a more accurate point of view? Sit down and take a close look at your accounts and expenses.
Not having a budget or not sticking to the one you’ve made can easily lead to overspending. If you find yourself in this category, take the time to...