Teaching Your Child About Money: Becoming Independent

Graduate holding CashYou’ve watched him take his first steps, and now you’re watching him grow into an adult. When your child turns 18, the realization that he is becoming independent will finally sink in. No more piggy banks or boxes to save money, your child is now transitioning over into the “real-world”, and will soon take on adult responsibilities.

For some, this might be a scary thought. For others, you might be excited that your child is becoming financially independent (vacation anyone?!) Speedy Cash can help you and your child ease into this transition. In the previous blog, Speedy Cash provided ways to help your teenager save money. Since your child growing into an adult in unavoidable, we also have tips to make sure he is on the right, and financially stable track.

Budget, Budget, Budget: In previous blogs, we emphasized teaching your child what budgeting is, and how to budget. More than ever, your grown child needs to have a concrete budget for himself. Sit down and go over your own personal budget, and share how you came up with your numbers and structure. Help your child go over his own expenses, and help him develop a plan for the upcoming year. Will your child be paying rent? Bills? Credit Cards? College loans? Make sure to include all of these in your child’s budget.

Get a Job: Part of becoming an adult includes the responsibility of having a job. (Was that a groan?) As lame as your child thinks it is, a steady source of income is essential to becoming financially independent. Once your child is making money of his own, money management will become a priority to your child.

Consistently Spend Less Than You Earn: You know what they say, money can burn a hole in your pocket. So make sure your child doesn’t spend all his money! The “adult life” is full of temptations and it’s important that you help your adult child track his earnings and spending. A tracking system will help him know if he is spending money where it’s necessary or spending money that’s not allotted his budget. He’ll learn very quickly that once he’s financially independent, he has to resist certain purchases. Living frugally isn’t a bad thing!

Make Savings a Top Priority: We all know this is easier said than done. But, unless your child creates a savings account and builds it up, it’s near impossible to reach financial independence. Emergencies come up unexpectedly, cars need maintenance, air conditioners break … the list goes on and on. It’s important that your child has savings to fall back on when emergencies arise. Advise your child to put a % of his paycheck into savings.

Talk to Financially Successful People: When it comes to money management and financial independence, advice is the best tool to reach these goals. If you have friends, relatives or other adults who have had success becoming financially independent, or have reached financial stability, have them talk to your child. Share experiences and information; they can be extremely valuable!

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Do you have advice for helping new adults become financially independent? Share your comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!

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