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Parents: teach children now to be money smart

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Capital Region parents know it well: in today’s world, children are constantly bombarded with products and services that advertisers spend billions each year trying to convince them that they need. In fact, the average child sees 40,000 commercials each year.

When you think about how many outside forces are vying for your children’s financial attention, it’s a pretty scary thought! But how do you combat this marketing siege without breaking the bank?

We as a community must teach children simple financial strategies now so they’ll be better equipped to deal with money matters on their own later. A recent survey found that most Americans couldn’t come up with $1,000 in cash for an emergency expense. We have the power right now to help children avoid such common money mistakes by helping them grow up “money smart

Talking It Out

One of life’s ironies is that we go to school to learn how to make money, but we don’t learn strategies for handling that money responsibly. As a parent, you’re in the perfect position to guide your children through the money maze as you help them develop healthy money attitudes and formulate good strategies for saving, spending, investing, and giving back to their communities.

Most parents don’t talk to their kids about money basics like how income taxes work and just a fraction talked to them about the purpose of a 401(k). If parents aren’t teaching kids good money management skills from the beginning, it’s no wonder the average college student graduates to the adult world with nearly $30,000 in debt!

It’s important for your kids to grow up knowing how to deal with money--so they won’t fall into the same traps that many of today’s college graduates are.

Dave Balog teaches Capital Region families about money basics. dbalog99@gmail.com 355-0967.

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