I wish I had been taught financial responsibility at a young age. Or... any age, really. Haha! School of hard knocks here.
IMO, it's really never too early.
Same here, all I got from my parents was "Pay your bills on time, stay away from credit cards and loans - except for mortgages, don't ever get into debt" Gee thanks! No cards or loans means no credit score, no score means no mortgage, especially these days. No cards or savings when you're young and living just outside of hand to mouth means no safety net. Then any financial emergency can wipe out what little you've managed to put away and put you behind on your bills and in debt. Before you know it, instead of no credit, you have bad credit. All too common. rant/ The way I see it the worst part is it's not not like financial education is an akward topic, I think the hard part for a lot of parents is the idea of giving the kid some money to manage and then NOT stepping in to rescue them when they make a poor decision with it. Kids need to learn that if they can't afford something now, they need they need to save for it or use some kind of credit. If they need credit it needs to have interest. Interest is the real life penalty for not saving. Credit not paid off = no more loans until it is. If you never let them fail they never learn to recover. IMHO would be nice if this was a required middle school or freshman class, but it is really the responsiblity of the parents to prepare kids for the everyday tasks and decisions of adult life. /rant
We discuss budgets to our kids and tell them limits they have if I let them have a toy or snacks at the store. Also, I gave them a challenge to save $100 in a year: from birthday money and cash from xmas and from allowances. To my surprise, they are 60% there in several months. Also, I discuss what credit is and even took them in when my wife replaced her SUV. It was cool for them to see their mom staying in budget and having her financing before hand. I know I have a long way to go and the goal is for my children not make past mistakes like myself.
All of the kids were required to put half of the money received (earned, found, or gifted) into long terms savings.
Of the remaining money, half had to go into short term savings for things that might come up, like spending money on a school field trip or that pair of jeans they just had to have, or gifts for the holidays/birthday.
The remaining funds (25% of the money received) could be spent immediately. The majoirty of the time, that little bit that was in their hands was saved. There was nothing they wanted to spend it on right away or it wasn't enough money to buy what they wanted right away.