Changing The Next Generations Personal Finance Habits

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America's personal finance habits need an overhaul. This is not new to anyone who has seen a news headline during the past year. We, America as a whole, are in a financial mess. We haven't a clue as to how to use logic when it comes to money.

Suze Orman, Oprah's financial guru, has risen to superstar status because this has been in the headlines non-stop. Let's see if we can apply some logical similar to her offerings.

This country needs help in earthquake strength. We are in the midst of a whirlpool of financial debt resulting many times from poor judgment. There is no way to change everything within the next generation. The only way to tackle such a mess is one step at a time. Martin Luther King, Jr., started with one article, one demonstration and then another.

So we can start with involving all family members in budgeting for grocery shopping. You are saying, what? I don't have time for that. Make time. No one will ever make wise financial decisions if they don't know how to budget.

Everyone wants to eat on a regular basis. Call a family meeting and explain it is now going to be a family project to make sure you keep within a certain spending limit. Go into the reality of how the family is going to have to be careful with spending and here is the place to start. Giving an entire dismal picture about the family budget is too much to burden children with.

Explain coupons, sale days and lists. Assign tasks to everyone to get ready for shopping day. There will be no more quick trips to the store. Explain how much is allotted for the food budget. If they help find a way to get in under that amount, there will be a reward.

Start a policy of keeping daily spending dairies. No one can save money if they don't know where money is going. You can create a chart, get it blown up and put it on a bulletin board or the kitchen refrigerator. Receipts can be kept for daily entries

You are changing your family's way they view money. Once children start these habits, this behavior will become ingrained. It will change the way they think out their buying decisions as they grow older and plan during their adult lives.

Decide on how much cash you are willing to hand out every week. Once that's gone, the children are responsible for finding other ways to earn more. Collecting cans in the neighborhood takes work, but can be done by children at a fairly young age. They will have to organize it and let you know when it is time to go to the recycling center.

Parents complain these days they feel like an ATM machine when it comes to their kids. Things can't get better, unless parents change the patterns they have ingrained in themselves. Before cutting the kids off, explain the options. If they don't like the idea of cans, especially for younger children, put up a rooster of chores they can do if they want extra tacked on to their allowance.

The next time one of the children, or even your spouse, talks about wanting a fairly expensive object, sit down and have a detailed discussion. Can you afford it? Do you need it? Most of the time, the money will not be readily available. So, there will have to be a savings plan. You can establish your own family lay-away plan.

Search for financial reading the children can grasp. Get them involved, no matter how hard it may be at first. The following link contains several helpful books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=%22children+and+money%3A&x=0&y=0

The path you are starting on will not only help your family, but hopefully spread to the next generation. Pre-teens and teens, for the most part, have been spoiled these days. They fail to comprehend ‘no' when it comes to asking parents for money. Unless this trend is squashed, they will carry on the same way with their children. This all leads to the overspending that triggered this financial crisis to begin with. Let's puts some common sense back in how we use the cents we earn.

Once children start watching what they do with their money, they will have some left over. Make sure they don't spend even that foolishly. Sit down and suggest savings plans. There are still Christmas club accounts. There are regular savings passbooks that don't require a specific opening balance. They may even get enough together to put into an account that earns interest. Put a new spin on money. Never stop hitting on the theme that money is not just for what it can do for us today, but what will it earn for us tomorrow.

Laura Bell is Freelance Writer and owner of www.bellbusinessreport.com. The Bell Business Report offers common sense business advice and how-to info for running your business. It takes the everyday headlines apart, dealing with business news, and shows you how to put that information to work for you.

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