Model good financial behavior to your child
Teach your children to be financially savvy--they will thank you later.
Glenn Muske, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension interim associate dean, assistant director, family and consumer sciences, said research has shown that bad money management carries over into illness, depression and other problems and by determining where these problems come from could benefit consumers.
A study, Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students, offers data for how, as a culture, a change can be made toward improved personal finances. The study shows parents have more influence over their child's knowledge, behaviors and attitudes on finances.
"Parental involvement plays a great role in the financial education and literacy of young people," Muske said. "The vast majority of students say that they learn their money management skills at home."
The study shows young people who are experienced in the workplace have developed more positive attitudes and behaviors and were better off than their non-working peers.
While the study shows positive information, it also shows disconcerting facts, such as nearly 73 percent of students surveyed have participated in risky behavior like maxing out credit card limits or not paying bills on time. One in five surveyed have used payday loans or used someone else's credit card to meet day-to-day financial needs.
"It's important for youth and young adults to be aware of finances and know how to make informed financial decisions," Muske said. "By educating them today, hopefully, they will be better prepared to make important choices about their future finances."
APLUS suggests education, not just in the teenage years, but earlier ages, has an important role in supplementing what parents teach.
"Make an effort to talk to your children about finances," he said. "Having good attitudes and behaviors about finances will help you make the most of being the key influencer in your child's financial choices."
Contact your local Extension office for the nearest program to help you teach your child money management practices as they grow.