TOM HUDSON: Money can be complicated. Just tonight, we`ve reported on European
interest rates, private equity firms and even the practice of factoring.
Money doesn`t have to be incomprehensible though. It begins when we`re
young, from trips to the store to playing store at home. That brings us to
tonight`s “Kids and Cash.” Here`s Janet Bodnar of “Kiplinger`s Personal
JANET BODNAR, EDITOR, KIPLINGER`S PERSONAL FINANCE: While you`re
trying to get your finances off on the right foot this year, why not bring
your children along for the ride? Teaching kids about money doesn`t have
to be intimidating or time consuming. The best way to start is simply to
talk with your kids about money and try some age-appropriate activities.
With pre-schoolers, for example, you can play “store” to show them
that different coins have different values. Let them put coins in a vending
machine or play with a fun savings bank. Once kids are in elementary
school, it`s time to start an allowance that comes with financial
responsibilities, like paying for their own collectibles or ice cream
treats. Kids will spend unlimited amounts of your money, but it`s a whole
new ballgame when their cash is on the line.
If your kids are in middle school, you can expand the allowance to
include things like movie tickets and mall excursions with friends. And if
your kids are in high school, help them open a checking account, especially
if they have earnings from a job. Knowing how to balance a checking account
will be a big plus when they head off to college. I`m Janet Bodnar.