Thanks, Mom, for all the great financial advice!
Several of our women leaders remember the valuable lessons their mothers taught them and share tips to help you teach your children about money
THINK ABOUT THE SATISFACTION you feel when you work hard, rise in your profession and can give to the charities you care about. Or the regret when you realize you’ve missed out on a potential investment opportunity — or a really good sale.
Where do those emotions come from? Your approach to money likely has its roots in childhood when your parents passed on valuable financial lessons. Every mom has her own methods for creating teachable financial moments, says Jennifer Chandler, head of Philanthropic Solutions at Bank of America Private Bank. “My mother led by example. She was very creative with the little we had, and I knew that if I wanted something I had to work for it.” Others provide their kids with the means to learn by doing.
In the slideshow below, several women leaders at Bank of America share more of what their mothers taught them — plus some tips that you may find helpful in passing on financial lessons to your children. (Use the Financial Flash Card and Pop Quiz at the bottom of the page to get your kids thinking about key money concepts.)
How early can you start? Sooner than you think; researchers have found that by age 4 or 5, children start to understand the relationship between buying and owning things; by 5 or 6, they start to grasp the idea of prices and how they’re connected to supply and demand.1 Jennifer Auerbach-Rodriguez, head of Strategic Growth Markets at Merrill Wealth Management, has already begun explaining the concepts of “have” and “have not” and “wants” and “needs” in very basic terms to her 2-year-old.
As your children enter their teens, there are other more hands-on activities you can encourage them to try. In the video below, Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. Equity & Quantitative Strategy and head of ESG Research at BofA Global Research, shares how she started teaching her kids about the power of investing.
What about allowances — should you tie them to chores? More than half of parents support tying allowances to chores, according to a survey conducted by Mint.com.2 Nancy Fahmy, head of the Investment Solutions Group at Bank of America, started her daughter on an allowance tied to chores, like making her bed and cleaning her room, at age 10. Chandler ties her children’s allowances to chores as well, saying that “it helps to instill the value that you have to work for things you want.” When she lends her children money over and above their chores-linked allowance — say, for an activity like going to the movies with their friends — she’ll charge interest, creating another teachable financial moment.
The resources below can help you start conversations about money with your children. Use them to create your own teachable moments. Those conversations will change and become more complex as your children grow, and at some point, your financial advisor may be able to provide resources and guidance as well. But getting started early is key. “Motherhood is a journey and raising your children to be financially responsible is part of that,” notes Kristen Dugan, Chief Supervisory Officer, Merrill Wealth Management. Thinking back on her own childhood, Auerbach-Rodriguez recalls, “Early experiences made me who I am.”
Explore these resources
What’s a ‘want’? What’s a ‘need’?
Moms, download this flash card and ask your kids, from toddlers to tweens, to identify the “wants” and the “needs.” Use this exercise to jumpstart conversations about how knowing the difference can help you create realistic spending habits. Explain the importance of budgeting for your needs and saving up for the things you want.