This year I’ve decided to give the gift of financial independence. One of the best ways to teach this crucial lesson is to give your kids some money for them to start managing. Learning how money works will help take the mystery out of our capitalist system and create some excitement when they watch it grow.
Introduce the idea that money should be loved and respected, and that when they love it by saving and investing it will pay them back with something tangible like a fully funded education. Here are my ideas for giving mad money skills this year.
Open an RESP or ESA for Your Kids
Let your kids open up a savings account for their education this year. You can open an RESP in Canada or an ESA in the U.S. Take them to the bank and get them excited about how much they could save over time. The bankers can show growth scenarios and how much they could have to make their education fund automatic and stress free. What is a better gift than that?
Pick Investments Together
Money to invest – I can’t think of a better gift. When I was young I used to dream about coming down stairs in my Winnie The Pooh one piece jammie’s and unwrapping money! When you give money to invest with your kids spend the time going over the options on how to invest it.
Teach the CRUCIAL Rule of 72 and Dollar Cost Averaging
Use the rule of 72 to see at what percentage rate return you will need to double your money. For example, at 8% growth it would take 9 years (72 divided by 8 = 9) for an investment to double. Then use an online calculator to show how contributing to a portfolio monthly and re-investing dividends will boost your investment. Teach how re-investing yield or new monies grows over time. Pick a longer term investment that pays a solid yield and get your kids excited about the power of investing!
Giving to an solid organization that lends to third world businesses is an amazing way to teach you kids about investing, help out the third world, and make a profit! Win, win, win. Organizations like kiva.org take a bunch of mirco loans, starting at $25, and combine them into a loan of $500 to a farmer or small business owner to improve their business. After the term of the loan the money is returned, you have the option to re-invest or take your money back. Kiva.org has had great success in micro-lending and is a great organization to help teach a valuable lesson. You can give gift cards for $25 or higher and there are video tutorials on their site about how the system works to watch with your little monkeys. You also learn about the person you’ve lent money to. Isn’t this what the Holidays are all about? PLUS, your kids get a money lesson.
Keep loving your money and it’ll love you back with financially savvy kids,