Money Matters: When to include your children in your financial matters

Help your children become financially literate!

For many families, talking about personal finances in front of children is still a taboo subject. However, experts say that helping children become financially literate, is essential in the modern era. Children who have not benefited from discussing financial matters with their parents are at a greater risk of mismanaging their own finances and personal budgets in their adult life.

Whilst many parents are in support of the push to normalise discussions with children regarding personal finances, many struggle with establishing comfortable boundaries to allow the conversation to proceed. In fact, a recent research survey has revealed that while 95% of respondents agreed that parents should talk to their children about money, only 37% reported that they actually involve their children in these discussions.

Discussing personal finances can invoke stress and anxiety, even in the most financially stable households. Many parents therefore shy away from such discussions with their children, even as they have reached an age of independence. There are a few simple tips to follow when broaching the subject of finance with your children, to ensure that they receive a beneficial and practical education about the nuances of personal finances.

Starting Early

Discussing the value of money with your children as they enter into the workforce, is an essential step in ensuring that your children develop proper money management practices. Many children are left without a practical understanding of money when they begin earning a steady paycheck and can make many crucial errors. Discussing budgeting and savings practices with your children before they begin earning a considerable amount of money of their own, is essential in order to place your children in the best position to make informed decisions regarding their own finances.

Being mindful of your child’s age and maturity is an important factor to consider when deciding when to begin sharing your own personal financial information with your children. However, no two people are the same and children from the same family may follow a very different timeline and have very different goals in relation to their own personal finances. It is therefore important to be flexible in your approach to any financial discussions, to ensure that it tailored for each individual.

As your children begin earning a steady income of their own, you may become privy to the personal motivations of each child. If your child has shown an interest in developing a share portfolio or investing in real estate, discussing your own personal investments may prove to be a vital asset for your children’s success. Conversely, if your child is interested in spending their money on travelling, you can tailor your discussions around your own personal budgeting practices.

Estate Planning

When your children are of an appropriate age, it is important to discuss your Estate Planning strategy with them. Whilst you may not feel comfortable discussing the value of your children’s inheritance, it is important to discuss who will perform the key roles in distributing your personal finances when you pass away.

It is possible to inform your children of the existence of your various assets, including any shares or insurance that they may be unaware of; without informing them of the value of these assets. Discussing how you have structured your own asset portfolio, can also prove to be crucial lesson for your children to utilise later in life. For example, if you have purchased any assets through a trust structure,  or any insurances through superannuation, you can discuss the benefits of such decisions with your children.

Many parents are now choosing to leave their children’s inheritance on trust, until they have reached the age of 25 or 30. If you have chosen to grant your children access to their inheritance at a later age, it is important to discuss your reasons for doing so. This will also allow you an opportunity to tell your children who you have appointed as your Executor and Trustee, and discuss the circumstances in which your children will be able to access money from their inheritance, prior to reaching the determined age. These discussions are integral in order to avoid any challenges to your Estate when you pass away. Whilst your children can legally access their inheritance at the age of 18, understanding your reasons for granting access at a later age, can prevent them from challenging the decision when you pass away.

Overexposure

Children who are inappropriately exposed to financial problems can obtain a  misconstrued understanding of their family’s financial position, and be left feeling anxious and insecure about their families stability. It is therefore important to focus on educating your children in regards to your financial matters, rather than exposing them to any concerns you may have.

There are a few simple practical differences between appropriate education, and overexposure. For example, when your children are at a younger age, it is unlikely to be necessary to discuss your salary with them. When your children have reached a mature age, it may become appropriate to discuss how your salary range has changed throughout your professional career. This can be an important lesson to share with your children, and will help them negotiate appropriate salaries throughout their own professional careers.

Ultimately, it rests on your judgement to decide what level of information you think is appropriate to divulge to your children. Taking the opportunity to consider your children’s financial position and goals as they mature, is integral to ensure that you can provide your children with an appropriate understanding of your own personal finances, to benefit them as they work towards achieving their own level of financial independence. To discuss your current financial situation, contact one of our trusted Financial Specialists today! Please complete your details below and we’ll be in touch or give us a call on 03 9835 8200.

DISCLAIMER:  GENERAL ADVICE ONLY

The information provided in this blog is general in nature. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs.

Before acting on any information in this blog, you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs or seek professional advice from a financial advisor.

Accru are not recommending any investment or product, the investments mentioned are examples only. Please seek professional advice or do you own research for an appropriate investment.  

About the Author
Accru Melbourne , Melbourne
Accru Melbourne, part of the Accru group, is an award winning financial services organisation. Our highly personalised approach and dynamic advice makes us standout in the fast paced, ever-changing business world.
Start Your Journey
Buying a house? Need business advice? Want to know where to invest your money? Or does your business need an audit? We want to give you every possible chance to grow your wealth, better your health and be proud of yourself!