Research shows that parents are the most influential factors in their kids’ money life development. What you model to your kids growing up lays the foundation for how they think and treat money into adulthood. So how do you model good financial decision making for your kids? How do you even begin to talk with your kids about money?
Rebecca Maxcy is director of the UChicago Financial Education Initiative at the University of Chicago and leads a team of researchers who help parents talk with their kids about money. Rebecca and her team have created a unique approach that focuses on the person, behaviors, and values of money vs. dollars and cents.
Rebecca’s research has found that across the nation, it is the “wild west” in terms of what is offered to our kids within the public and private school systems when it comes to educating our kids about money and finance. The differences range from state to state and can even be different within the same school district. This means parents have to take the lead when it comes to their kids’ financial education.
In our conversation, we talk about consumer education vs. financial education. Parents should be focused on financial education, which builds the knowledge and skills required to having financially aware kids. A process that is focused on the principles of financial planning. Rebecca discusses some of the tools that her team has developed, such as “talking cents cards,” that help parents begin to have honest conversations about money with their kids.
Rebecca and I share personal stories about having conversations about money when our kids ask questions rather than shying away from them. Even when we, as parents, may not have all of the answers ourselves.
Financial education, similar to financial planning, never ends. It evolves continuously, and as parents, we can have a significant influence in setting our kids up for financial success by being open and having money conversations.
Please enjoy my conversation with Rebecca Maxcy.