Planning matters

Bring Your Child to Work Day — 2018

A few weeks ago, I had company in my car on the way to workIn my passenger seat was my 14-year daughter, dressed up and looking forward to having a day away from her normal 8th-grade school routine. In addition to the anticipated coffee and donuts at the beginning of the day (hot chocolate in her case) and lunch out with mom, she asked me what was on the agenda to keep her occupied for the hours ahead. I told her she was going to learn about budgeting money. I got “the look”.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of various Johnson Bixby staff in preparing for the annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day”, we had several kids visit our office on April 26th to learn more about what we do and the benefit we bring to our clients as well as the community. One of the classes our young visitors had the opportunity to participate in was a budgeting workshop hosted by our own Jeri Boston. Jeri presented a fictional scenario of twin siblings, each with different saving and spending habits. As they worked through the example as a group, the kids were able to see the result of each case and who ended up with the most money at the end. The exercise taught the kids the impact of decision making and how their decisions will affect them later in life.

Using a budget worksheet, kids can write down their expenses, including gifting and savings, and determine the time frame it will take for them to meet their goals. This will help them determine what their priorities are and the importance of saving a percentage of their money. Show them how to track their expenses on a weekly basis so they can see how their spending is aligning with the budget they created. This will help enable them to make changes in their spending as needed.  When your child is ready, you can open a bank account for them (with your name on it) and assist them in learning how to responsibly use a debit card and how to balance their account at the end of the month.

In addition to understanding and successfully navigating the basics of using a budget, kids will also need to learn other important financial basics such as how interest works, how credit cards work, establishing and maintaining good credit as well as the basics of the stock market.

Time flies by and before you know it they will be in a position of making financial decisions that will have a long-term impact on their future. Taking the time to work with kids so they understand the importance of money management will help them transition into financially responsible adults and will contribute to wise money management decisions in the future.

Written By Lana Alvarez