While school is out this summer, why not help your kids get in the financial “swim” of things? They can have fun while they learn skills that will pay lifetime dividends.
Tell your kids about your family’s finances, plans for future savings and spending, and household expenses. Ask for ideas on how you can trim costs.
Let your youngsters look through newspapers and magazines for coupons – and let them keep the savings.
Include kids in meal-planning. Start with basic nutrition guidelines, then give them a budget and take them shopping.
Include your kids in the planning for summer outings. Give older kids a budget and a destination and let them help choose hotels and attractions. Be sure to include a fund for meals, gasoline and other incidentals.
Quiz your kids on basic finances. Good sources for questions include Internet sites like www.hansonbanking.com.
Pay your kids an allowance and encourage them to earn additional spending money by doing extra chores around the house, washing your or neighbors’ cars, babysitting, taking care of pets and plants while neighbors are on vacation – there are plenty of options.
Whatever their income, teach your kids the importance of giving. To personalize their philanthropy, visit local museums, zoos, botanical gardens, food banks and other nonprofits and let them decide which will be “theirs.”
Wrap up your financial summer school with an awards party and give prizes for competitions you’ve held over the summer – best menu, best vacation plan, best summer job idea.
Pat Cortez is senior vice president and director of government and public relations for Wells Fargo in Colorado. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.