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Teaching Your Kids About Money Safety: A Parent's Guide

blog conversation starters finances for kids finances for parents Nov 22, 2023

In today's digital world, the importance of money safety can't be overstated. With a staggering rise in fraud and identity theft cases, it's crucial for parents to be proactive. This blog aims to empower you with actionable steps to teach your kids about money safety, setting them on a path toward financial literacy and security.

The Basics of Money Safety

What is Money Safety?

Money safety is all about protecting your financial assets and personal information from various forms of danger, both online and offline.

Why is Money Safety Important?

Your financial well-being depends on how well you safeguard your assets and personal information. Teaching your kids about money safety is not just a good habit—it's a life skill.

Paper vs. Digital: The Statement Dilemma

Both paper and digital financial statements have their advantages and disadvantages. However, the stakes are high when it comes to money safety. Some practical steps that families can take to minimize this risk include:

  • Switch to electronic bills to reduce the risk of mail theft.
  • Shred important paper documents before disposal.
  • Be vigilant about collecting the mail promptly.

Protecting Your Social Security Number

The theft of a Social Security number can have far-reaching consequences, affecting your credit score and personal reputation. The preventive measures to teach your kids about include:

  • Have them memorize their SSN to eliminate the need to carry the physical card. You can make this into a game during a car ride.
  • Store the physical copy in a secure location like a safe deposit box.
  • Caution them about sharing their SSN and always have them verify the identity of the requesting party.

Using Hard Currency Safely

ATMs are convenient but come with risks like card skimming. Show your kids the next time they see you at the bank to always be aware of your surroundings. Look for any suspicious activity or individuals lurking around.

Login Safety

Give your kids a reminder that a strong password is your first line of defense in protecting your financial information. Acknowledge that enabling two-step authentication for an extra layer of security is worth the extra effort.

The Risks of Social Media

You can’t remind your kids enough to never share sensitive financial information like account numbers or credit card details on social media (not to mention all those other non-money things). Stress that they be cautious about what they post, as it can have lasting repercussions on their personal and professional lives.

Talking About Money in Public Settings

Discussing money matters in public settings is often considered inappropriate and risky.

Educate them to strike a balance between openness and discretion. Choose the right setting and audience for any and all financial discussions.

Reading the Fine Print

In this Amazon world we are living in this might be something that we, the parents, need to be a bit better at. Not reading terms and conditions can expose you to various risks, including financial loss and privacy invasion. They’ll want to understand the importance of taking a few extra minutes to read and understand what they’re agreeing to.

Loaning Money to Friends and Family

This advice is always filled with a ton of philosophical debate.  But we can probably agree that loaning money to loved ones is an emotionally charged decision that can affect relationships. Make sure to set some guidelines:

  • Have an open discussion about the loan.
  • Put it in writing to clarify terms and protect both parties.

Warning Kids About Sports Gambling

Sports gambling is becoming increasingly accessible, posing a significant risk to teenagers. It’s a problem and we need to bring it to the attention of our kids. Talk to your kids about the risks and set parental controls to limit access to gambling websites.

Conclusion

Being proactive about money safety is a family affair. Parents, it's time to take the lead in educating your children about money safety. Implement the practical steps outlined in this blog and make them a part of your family's financial routine. Remember, the goal is not just to protect your assets but to empower your children to become financially responsible adults.

Ready to have financial conversations with your family, but not sure where to start? Get all the resources you need with Total Cents Lesson 12.

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