19th June 2022 is Father’s Day in many parts of the world. If you’re a dad, we hope that you are being treated like a parenting superstar by your loved ones on this special day. To secure your superhero status, teach your child these important financial lessons and set them up for a life of success!
1. Live within your means
This lesson seems so obvious, but skyrocketing levels of unsecured debt in the western world – £3,797 per adult in the UK according to The Money Charity – suggest that many people are failing to live within their means. This is not surprising with the majority of schools neglecting to teach basic money management. So it’s over to you to help your child acquire key skills such as budgeting, saving and delaying gratification so they only buy what they can afford.
2. Money buys you choice
Acquiring money for money’s sake is pointless. It’s what you do with it that counts. The ability of money to buy the luxury of choice should be highlighted to all children.
Purchasing expensive gadgets or clothes might offer a fleeting dopamine-induced high but resisting temptation and saving money to pay for a university education that increases job opportunities and earning potential is a more likely route to long-term contentment.
An emergency fund that provides families with options when life deals them a tough hand gives peace of mind that no purchase can offer.
And saving and investing wisely over the course of a career is the key to freedom of choice over when to take retirement and how to spend it.
3. Compound interest is magic
A client recently shared a story with me. 18 years ago in the UK, her child (like all those born between September 2002 and January 2011) received £250 from the government as part of the Child Trust Fund Scheme. This was invested, and £2,000 was added to it by grandparents as gifts when the child was still small. The £2,250 investment then sat untouched for the intervening years.
This year the client’s 18-year-old is about to start at university so they dug out the paperwork to find out how much was in the account to put towards their living costs. The current balance: around £14,000!!!
A large part of that is down to compound interest, which is interest on interest. This builds up over time and does magical things to your savings. That’s why it’s important to start saving early and harness this superpower throughout your life.
4. The difference between good and bad debt
It’s absolutely essential that your child understands how debt works and can use it wisely to build wealth over their lifetime.
Generally speaking, bad debt is used to purchase consumer goods while good debt is an investment for the future that improves an individual’s overall financial situation in the long term.
By this reasoning, borrowing money on a credit card to buy a new iPhone to replace an existing one that works perfectly well represents a bad debt.
However, taking out a mortgage to buy a house based on income and ability to pay is using debt wisely to acquire an asset that builds wealth in the long term.
Another example of good debt is a student loan to gain a university degree. This is essentially an investment into future earning potential. Statistics indicate a direct correlation between educational attainment and earnings.
As parents, we have a mountain of responsibilities, but it is worth taking the time to instill good financial habits in our children to set them up for a lifetime of financial success.
To find out how you can give your child the ultimate head start in life by setting up a regular savings plan to pay for their university education or a deposit on a first home, why not talk to one of our experienced financial advisers? Make an appointment for a discovery call today and guarantee super dad status for life!
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