Dear Borrow Smart Family,
Is your child a saver or a spender?
One of our most important missions as a is to help our clients improve their financial literacy. By helping you make smart decisions with your money (even beyond the mortgage), we get to play an integral part in helping you build a bigger, better financial future. Even better, we are honored with the idea of partnering with you to raise a financially responsible family.
One of the first steps to identify where you’re family is at, is to determine your child/children’s financial personality. One of my favorite quizzes for this is from the book, “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” by Neale S. Godfrey.
Answer the following ten questions with a yes or a no:
If you give your child money, does he or she save it?
Does your child lose or misplace money often?
Do you often hear the words “I want, I want” when you go shopping with your youngster?
If you ask your young one, “Why do you want this?” does he or she often say, “Because Johnny has one” or “I saw it on TV”?
Is your child reluctant to spend any of his or her own money?
Does your child get exceptional pleasure in seeing a bank account grow?
If your child sees a penny on the ground, will he go out of his way to pick it up?
Does your child decide to save for a special toy, and then later choose to not buy the toy?
If you say no to the suggestion of stopping for ice cream or pizza, does your child ask, “Can we if I pay for it?”
When you travel, does your youngster want to bring presents back to all his or her friends?
How to score: If you answered “YES” to questions 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8, you have a saver on your hands. A “YES” answer to questions 2, 3, 4, 9, and 10 show you have a full-fledged spender on your hands.
In doing this quiz myself, I was not feeling great that my daughter comes out as a spender. But I know not to worry – there are lots of ways to help a child who loves spending money learn to be a better saver.
And as crazy as it might sound, some children struggle to spend money, choosing instead to save everything (Think future “Scrooge McDuck”!) Money should be fun, and teaching your children about money can be fun as well. The ideal financial personality, of course, is raising a careful spender who is also a disciplined saver.
If you are like me, you want your children to grow up more prepared than we were. Schools generally don’t have financial education as part of the curriculum. It’s our job to equip our children with the knowledge they need to make good money choices before heading off to college, where the onslaught of credit card offers will engulf them. I wish you all the best!