Step 4: Saving and Investing
America has one of the lowest savings rates of industrialized countries. You would think that we have gotten better at saving in the last 30 years, when in fact, we are only getting worse. The savings rate is only one half a percent of our income, which is the lowest savings rate in history since the Great Depression. According to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America, 50% of American households have less than $1,000 in net financial assets. This is not a large enough sum for anyone to build a promising future.
Saving and investing lessons are a crucial element of raising a financially responsible child. Yet, as a consumer driven country, we are not very prepared to teach those lessons. You can personally help stop the downward spiral of American consumerism and irresponsible saving by taking control of your own finances. Then you will be prepared to help your child avoid making the same mistakes that are endemic to his world.
Good money management is a daily process that includes not only putting money aside for future goals but also saving money on the things bought every day. Comparison and discount shopping are excellent ways to teach your child how to get more value for their dollar.
Setting money aside isn’t always easy for children. Fortunately, there are some excellent financial vehicles just for kids that will make investing for the future interesting and fun.