ACCC on Communicating Financial Matters with Children

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American Consumer Credit Counseling explains how to talk about money with kids

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Discussing money can be uncomfortable, but basic concepts such as financial values and regrets will open up the lines of communication between you and your child – making them more comfortable about coming to you with questions.

Talking to children about finances can be uncomfortable, but money is not a subject that should be off-limits to kids. Children will learn about money one way or another, which is why it is best for parents to be upfront and set a positive example. To help, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling explains how to communicate financial matters with children.

“The reality is that kids know more than we think about money and finances,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Discussing money can be uncomfortable, but basic concepts such as financial values and regrets will open up the lines of communication between you and your child – making them more comfortable about coming to you with questions.”

According to a survey by U.S. Bank, 77 percent of parents talk to their kids about saving money, and more than half talk to their kids about budgets (66 percent) and building and maintaining credit (54 percent). Only 32 percent of parents talk to their kids about saving for retirement and 30 percent discuss the importance of investing. The study also found that 56 percent of parents say their children between the ages of 18 and 24 had little to no involvement with family finances.

ACCC explains what consumers should keep in mind when discussing financial matters with their children.

1. Overcome reluctance – Money can be an uncomfortable topic, so parents must overcome their unwillingness and be upfront with their children
2. Values – Before the discussion, parents should examine their financial values with their spouse. Parents know what values they want their kids to have, which may not line up with their track record.
3. Slow and steady – Parents don’t need to discuss everything there is to know about money and finances in one sitting. They should start slow and show they are open to the discussion. Kids tend to know more than parents think.
4. Honesty goes a long way – Parents should be honest and talk about any areas they regret, such as not saving enough or falling into debt. They should use specific examples when explaining. Parents don’t have to disclose their salary as most kids don’t need or want to know.
5. Discuss concepts – The most important concepts kids need to be aware of are budgeting, saving and paying off debt.
6. Open discussion – Parents don’t want these talks just to be lectures. Let kids ask questions and ask questions back to help them understand.

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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