Posted: 2:00 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2013
By Brian O'Connell
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Most U.S. public school students will be done with classes in the next 30 to 60 days, but that light at the end of the tunnel can mean an oncoming train for parents. They can expect a deluge of requests from their kids for money this summer.
“School will soon be out and bored kids everywhere will bugging their parents to buy them stuff,” says Pamela Yellen, a consumer finance expert and best-selling "New York Times" author. “We know we need to teach our kids to be financially independent, but the question is how?”
Yellen says the earlier children grasp financial issues and strategies, right down to exchanging goods and services for cash, the better.
The best advice to getting those points across to children? Unplug that “cash machine” by teaching kids some time-honored traditions that can help them save rather than spend money this summer.
Here are some tips for them:
Yellen adds that there’s good value in pointing out to your kids that the best things in life don’t have a big price-tag attached. That could mean a hike in the woods, a swim at the lake or a pickup baseball game in the park. Those are the real summer memories that last.
"As parents, one of our most important lessons for our children is to teach them the lifetime value of being financially responsible and self-sufficient," Yellen says. "Nothing builds a child's self-esteem faster than self-reliance."
That’s good advice for kids anytime of year.