BY MARIA LUISA SALCINES
Having a healthy mental attitude about money is probably the most important thing I learned from my parents. When our family emigrated from Cuba in 1963, we had no one who could bail us out if we got into financial trouble.
My parents managed to pay rent, feed us and save money because they never lived beyond their means.
In order to save money, you need a plan.
One of the most important things you can teach your children is to recognize the value of money.
The way you spend money, discuss it, or fight about it, will be the attitude your children will have.
Parents should take advantage of the everyday teachable moments to discuss finances with their kids.
Talk to your children about family goals. Discuss how you are saving money to buy a house or a new car.
When they want toys at the grocery store and you don’t want to spend the money, don’t tell them you are out of cash. Instead, explain
how important it is to live on a budget and not spend money on things you don’t really need.
Teach them to take care of their toys, clothing and their home. Make them aware of the value of things and the sacrifice it takes to have them.
As soon as your child is old enough, take him to the bank and open a savings account. Whenever he or she gets birthday or Christmas money, instead of spending it all have them take a portion of it and deposit it in the bank.
As they get older and begin to earn money, insist that they put money in their savings.
I was raised with the mentality that the best car in the world was the one that had four wheels and could get you from point A to point B.
Teach your children to be proud of what they can afford to buy. Being in debt is not a way to live, because it doesn’t allow you to enjoy what you have.
Don’t make everything about money. Refrain from making comments about what expensive things cost.
Children should never be burdened with the money problems of adults, but letting your children know that your family is on a budget is teaching them how to live responsibly.
Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or on Instagram at mlsalcines, or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.