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Who should teach finances / money management?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
This has been a point of discussion between dh and I for a while now as we have opposing views on the subject. Who should teach our children about money matters? I believe as parents it is our responsibility to teach it, starting with pocket money etc where as dh thinks we should leave it to teachers at school.

If you believe it's the parents responsibility or even if you don't, how do you handle pocket money? Do you just give it weekly or do you believe your child needs to earn it by doing jobs (ie emptying trash gets you $x and emptying dishwasher earns you $y)?
post #2 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillymum View Post
This has been a point of discussion between dh and I for a while now as we have opposing views on the subject. Who should teach our children about money matters? I believe as parents it is our responsibility to teach it, starting with pocket money etc where as dh thinks we should leave it to teachers at school.

If you believe it's the parents responsibility or even if you don't, how do you handle pocket money? Do you just give it weekly or do you believe your child needs to earn it by doing jobs (ie emptying trash gets you $x and emptying dishwasher earns you $y)?
I wouldn't depend on the school to teach it. We teach it ourselves, by involving our kids in financial decisions and budgeting.

We pay pocket money weekly. It is not tied to chores, but we do expect our kids to take a large part in the housework. We all pitch in with the housework and we all have a part of the family income.
post #3 of 33
I think it should be taught in schools, but I certainly didn't learn it there. I spent hours upon hours in wood shop, and never had a single class in money management.

I guess I don't see why your dh wouldn't want to teach it at home. Maybe it's the method that he disagrees with.
post #4 of 33
Parent's responsibilty to teach life skills.

** I learned some from my parents, but not enough.. that is I really didn't understand how debt could rob one of future choices.

However, regardless of the OP's disagreement between them on who should teach it, is if it's not currently be taught in shcools (most are not), then it becomes the real question of do you want your child(ren) to have this knowledge and if so then you must teach it to them.
post #5 of 33
It would be nice to get it in the schools, esp for those children who don't get it at home. But, not gonna happen in today's educational/economic/political climate.

Parents.

DH and I disagree on HOW to do it. I say, allowance to learn about money and budgeting. DH says pay the child for chores, whereas I think chores should be done because you live in the family. For a child, the allowance is a tool to teach about finances.

I do think paying a teen for extra work around the house is fine.

sorry so short
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillymum View Post
dh thinks we should leave it to teachers at school.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

:

That's funny.

Seriously, I'd have to ask when exactly he thinks they'd be teaching this. They barely can manage basic math and reading skills. Even when I was a kid, the most you might learn about money management in school is to spend it before the local bully beats it out of you.

I don't know any school public or private that teaches money management. That is completely the parent's responsibility. That falls under "life lesson" which schools don't teach. If schools actually taught money management, more people would have the slightest clue about it.
post #7 of 33
Studies show that kids don't learn about money in school. In one study high schoolers that took a finance course scored *lower* on a finance test than kids who hadn't taken the class.

Here's a link to a study showing that taking a high school finance class did not improve scores on a finance test. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/finclass.htm

I believe that a family's attitude about money and practice has the strongest impact. I agree with Choli in regard to pocket money.
post #8 of 33
For me, it's just like sex ed - I want my children to have courses on it at school but I also know that I've got to teach it at home so that we can explain our family values, morals, etc. that are not the school's responsibility to teach. And, just like with sex ed they're going to learn it somewhere. I don't want my son to learn about money from people who can't handle it or want to take advantage of him (i.e. credit card companies, predatory lenders, consumer credit counselors, all of the other money traps, etc.).

I want my son to have basic finance courses in school - it is such a huge part of life and understanding how a society functions.

But, the majority of his financial knowledge starts at home at a very young age. We do not give an allowance. He doesn't get paid for regular chores (neither do I or DH). He has opportunities to do age appropriate extra jobs around the house to earn money. He already understands we have a budget and we stick to it (for the most part ). He doesn't pitch fits at the store when he wants a toy and we tell him no. He knows that we don't have the money in our toy "jar" right now and if he has money in his spend jar (he keeps his money in jars right now) he can buy it. If not, we wait.

He's 4.5 right now. As he gets older we will probably do something similar to an allowance to help him learn more responsibility with money. For things like his clothing. Instead of us buying it for him we'll give him the money and he can spend it on the clothes he wants. If he splurges and buys one pair of jeans for the school year then that's it. He can either wear them every day or he can save his own money to buy a second or third pair. Letting him learn these lessons while he is young will enable him to take care of himself when he is older. I do not want him to have credit card debt and troubles when he graduates from college.

Don't let DH stick his head in the sand on this issue. It is so important for parents to start passing along this life skill when the kids are small. They understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

Best wishes.
post #9 of 33
Every family has a different set of principles regarding finances and money management. It's the parents' responsibility, IMO. The schools can teach economic principles, how to balance a checkbook, how to calculate returns and amortizations, etc. but they can't teach kids how to be responsible consumers. It starts at home and it starts with parents leading by example.
post #10 of 33
I think its the parents responsibility to make sure your child knows it. I would never 'leave it to the schools' However, I feel the schools should teach it as sooo many parents don't and I think a lot of why this country is in trouble is lack of general financial knowledge.

As for how we handle it, right now we don't do anything. Any money given to the kids goes into their bank accounts. I believe giving them money at this point would only be teaching them to be consumers. I see other children who get money at Christmas and birthdays and the parents say 'we'll go to the store and spend your money' - I don't want my kids to have that kind of attitude toward money. As a result, my kids do not beg for things, they do not feel deprived because we don't take them around and parade them through stores showing them what they can and cannot afford. They are happy with what they are given. As time goes on, I plan to give them the opportunity to budget and save their money, with an emphasis on saving, but I feel at their current ages (3 and 5), they have no need to be dealing with money yet, other than when they get it at a birthday, we talk about how I will put it in their savings accounts. I want to teach them that you don't spend money just because you have it.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Every family has a different set of principles regarding finances and money management. It's the parents' responsibility, IMO. The schools can teach economic principles, how to balance a checkbook, how to calculate returns and amortizations, etc. but they can't teach kids how to be responsible consumers. It starts at home and it starts with parents leading by example.

Yes yes yes.

I think that parents rely too much on schools to teach their children life skills.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I wouldn't depend on the school to teach it. We teach it ourselves, by involving our kids in financial decisions and budgeting.

We pay pocket money weekly. It is not tied to chores, but we do expect our kids to take a large part in the housework. We all pitch in with the housework and we all have a part of the family income.
This is us, as well. DD and ds2 don't get pocket money yet, but ds1 gets a weekly allowance. He also has chores to do, but they're not tied to each other...except that he recently got an allowance raise, and an increase in chores. We felt he was ready for both.

We had "consumer education" in school. What a joke...a complete and total waste of 3 hours a week of my life. Those of us who had already learned it at home learned nothing new. Those who hadn't learned it at home didn't get any of it. I notice that it's been wiped from the curriculum these days - and it was a brand new class when I went through.
post #13 of 33
Where did you husband get the idea that schools teach much about finances?
My experience at school was math word problems that I never thought about applying to my future life and a brief review of how to write a check. Balancing a checkbook may have been reviewed as well.

In Girl Scouts there was a badge I did where I needed to track a stock that was a bit of a financial education, but the majority of financial knowledge came from my parents. That was all through their example, an allowance, and the requirement that 2/3rds of the money I earned babysitting and whatnot went into the bank to be spending money in college. Christmas and Birthday gifts also pretty much went straight into savings.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
We had "consumer education" in school. What a joke...a complete and total waste of 3 hours a week of my life. Those of us who had already learned it at home learned nothing new. Those who hadn't learned it at home didn't get any of it. I notice that it's been wiped from the curriculum these days - and it was a brand new class when I went through.
Lisa, I was a high school teacher way back then (8yr ago) and we had to teach Life Management classes to grade 11. I can tell you that it was a joke to most students. There was one unit on finances, which was a simplified version of math word problems on money. Teaching students to be RESPONSIBLE with money was not the intention of the unit.

You can't teach responsibilities through books. It has to be learned by examples.
post #15 of 33
I teach a middle school personal finance class, and let me tell you, by 7th grade (my students' grade level), my students already have most of their basic opinions and attitudes SET. It was very easy to figure out what kinds of examples they were seeing at home, and not much I say is going to change their minds about the "normal" way to handle money. Normal to them is whatever they see at home, so it's up to Mom and Dad to set a responsible example.

Moreover, my class was an elective. In California, there is no state requirement that personal finance is taught to kids, and I would imagine that it's a similar situation in most other states.
post #16 of 33
I taught high school math for a few years before having kids. I took a few days off of the algebra curriculum to talk about finance. The kids always appreciated, mostly I expect, because it was a day off from algebra. I did it very informally, conversationally, and encouraged them to talk to their parents about it too. It was generally well received.

Aven
post #17 of 33
I think it's great if schools have a finance course, but I think it is the responsibility of the parents to teach money management skills. I want DS to have a good grasp of that well before he may learn about it in school. I took an elective finance course in high school and while it was nice, I remember we learned more about stocks and the market than money management. Even if all schools did have a required finance course, I wouldn't trust it to teach the things that I think are important for DS to learn.
post #18 of 33
even if it was taught in school, wouldn't you want your kid to learn from you? I belive that finances can have a moral/ethical/personal responsibility and even religious component. You definitely want your kids to get that from you!
post #19 of 33
Let's consider that they do teach this at the CC and Univ. level for those people obtaining a finance or accounting degree. I started out that way and learned a lot. The place I learned the most was in a CC class called "starting a small business"

Now as a elem. teacher I can say with much certainty that schools may have economics stated as a state standard that they need to teach it, however, I've yet to see a teacher teach the basics of money management.

I believe very strongly in the importance of teaching these skills/strategies to all students. Sadly, with all the other "teach to the test" skills that teachers need to teach this is way way way on the back burner.

This is the reason I am contemplating opening up my own charter school with several like-minded teacher friends in AZ. It would be in the West Phoenix area. I had planned to do this in probably 5-7 yrs after having a few more babies however, given the current situation of our educational system this plan may definitely be moved up to the next year or so.
post #20 of 33
Parents, absolutely, if we're talking about responsibility.

It would be nice if schools could teach finances as well. Personally, I wouldn't trust them to do a good job though.
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